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THE WORKS 

OF 

CHARLES DICKENS 




DOMBEY AND SON 

VOL. II 



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▼i CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XXVIII page 

Alterations . 156 

CHAPTER XXIX 
The Opening of the Eyes of Mrs. Chick 171 

CHAPTER XX3^ . 
The Interval before the Marriage . .189 

GHAPTEBL XXXI 
The Wedding 4 211 

CHAPTER XXXII 
The Wooden Midshipman goes to Pieces . .234 

CHAPTER XXXIII 
Contrasts ........ 260 

CHAPTER XXXIV 
Another Mother and Daughter .... 278 

. CHAPTER XXXV 
The Happy Pair 295 

CHAPTER XXXVI 
Housewarming . 313 

CHAPTER XXXVII 
More Warnings than One . . '• 33© 

CHAPTER XXXVtII 
Miss Tox improves an Old Acquaintance < . • 346 



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CONTENTS ^ii 



CHAPTER XXXIX 



VAGB 



Further Adventures of Captain Edward Cuttle, 

Mariner 359 

CHAPTER XL 
Domestic Relations . * . •3^4 

CHAPTER XLI 

New Voices on the Waves ..... 407 



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Dombey and Son 

Chapter XXI 

. NEW VACES . .. 

THE Major^ more blue«jfaced and staring-^mor^ 
over-ripe, as k Were, than ever-'— and giving 
vent, every now and then, to ond of tKe horise's 
coughs, not 80 much of necesnity as in a s|i6ntah^ous 
explosion of importance, tl^alked arm iii armi with 
Mr. Dombey iip the suntly side of the way, with his 
cheeks swelfing over his tight stock, his legs maje^ie^ 
ally wide apart, aind hie great head wagging frominde 
to side, as if he were remonstrating within himself on 
being such a captivatiiig object. They had^not walked 
many yards, before the Major encountered somebody 
he knew, nor many yards lirdier before the Major 
encountered sometxidy else he knew, but he merely 
shook his fingers at them as he passed, and led Mr. 
Dombey on : pointing out the locaKties as they went, 
and enlivening the walk' with any current scandal 
suggested by them. ' 

In this manner the Majoi* and Mr. Donabcy Were 
walking arm in arm, much to their own satid&etion; 
Rrhen they beheld advancing towards them; a wheded 
tbairy in which a lady was seated, indofendy steering 
he^ carriage by a kind of rudder in front, while it was 
fK^peUed by some unseen power in the rean Although 
he lady was not young, she Was very blooming in the 
bee— quite rosy— ^nd her dress and attitude were 

II. B 

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a DOMBHY AND SON 

perfectly juvenile. Walking by the side of the chair, 
and carrying her gossamer parasol with a proud and 
weary air, as if so great an effort must be soon aban- 
doned and the parasol dropped, sauntered a much 
younger l^y, ver^ handsomei very h^iighty, very 
wilfid, who tossed her head and drooped her eyelids, 
as though, if there were anything in all the world 
worth looking inlo/ai^e a loirrbj;; it certainly was 
not the earth or sky. 

" Why, what the devil have we here, sir! " cried 
the Major, stopping as this hide cavalcadt^dre w. aear. 

<< My dearest Edith ! " dr«w]e4 the lady in ftie 
x:hwr, " Majpr Bagstock ! '* 

The Major ao soooer heai^d tim voice, than he 
relinquished Mr. Pomb^y's arm» daned forward, 
took the hand of the Jady in the chair and pressed it 
to his lips. With no less gallantry, the Major folded 
both his gloves upon his hearty and bowed low to the 
other hidy. And now» the chair having stopped, the i 
motive power became visible iathe,shape of a fluahed ' 
page pushing behindi who seemed to have in jpart out- 1 
groitm and in part outr^po^ed his atrengtby.ior, wheni 
he stood upright.he was tall, and wa^and thin, andj 
hia plight appeared the mpre forlorn frpm his haviq 
injured the shape of his hat, by butting at the carr iag 
with, his head to urge it forward, as is sometijones don 
by elephants in Oriental countries.. . , . 

«< Joe Bagstock," said thf^ Major to both ladies 
<< is a proiud and happy man for the. rest >pf his life.] 

"^^ You false* creature," said the old lady ia 
chair, inttptdly. ** Whf^e do you come from i 
can't bear you*'* 

** Then suffer old Joe to present a friend, ma'a#> 
said the Major promptly, <^ as a reason |br beii 
tolerated. Mr. Dombey, Mrs. Skewton." The 

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DOMWir AKf> SON 1 

in the chair was graeious. <<Mr. Dombey^ Mrs. 
Grange." The lady witb.tfie parasol was faintly 
coKMckms of Mr* Dombey's taking off his hat» and 
bowing low. ^ I am delighted* sir»" said the Major, 
«« tz) have this opportqnity.V 

The Major seemed in earnest, lor he looked at all 
the three, ^aad leered in his ugtiest^manner. 

<«Mrs» Skewixm, Dombey," said the Majors 
<< makts havoc .in' the heart of old Josh." 

Mr. JDotobey. signified (bathe didn't wonder at it. 

^ Ycm perficUoiis gobUn," said the lady in the chair, 
<< have done ! Hc^ kmg. have you heen here, bad 



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'< One day»" xeplied thfe Major* 
<< And can you.be a day, or -chren a minute,'^ re- 
turned the lady, slightly settling her false curls and 
false eyebrows with her &n» md showing lief false 
teethe set off by her false coro{rfe»Qn, ^inthe ganien 
of whatVits-name^*-^-*-'* 

*^£den, I suppose, mamma," interrupted the 
younger lady, somftJly. 

*<My dear Edith," aaid ihe other^ *^l cannot 
help it. I ne^er can remember those, frightful names 
— ^without having your whole Soul and Being inspired 
by the sight xlf Natdre ; by die. perfume," said Mrs. 
Skewton, rustling a handkerchief that was £uttt and 
sickly with essences, ^< of her artless breath,, you 
creature! "l 

Thei discrepancy between Mrs* Skewton's freib 
^ enthusiasm of words, and forlornly £ided manner, w&s 
Zj, hardly less cAtee^Fable than that between her age, 
ler Hich was about seventy, and her dress, which woold 
>ronve been youthful for twenty-seven.. Her attitude 
in the wheeled chair (which she never varied) was 
one in which she had been taken in a barouche, some 



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4 DOMBBY AND SON 

fiftjr years before, by a then fiwhionable artist Who 
had appended to his published sketch the name of 
Cle<^tra s in consequence of a- disdoVery made by 
the critics of the time, that it bore 'at! exact resem- 
blance to that nrincess as she Mdiiioi oo board her 
galley. Mrs. Skewton was a beauty then, and bucks 
threw wine*-glasses'over their heads by dozens iii her 
honour. The beauty aind 'the. barouche had both 
passed away, but she still presenrisd' the attftudc^ and 
for this reason expressly^ maintained the wheeled 
chair and the bnttiofg page: there bong aotfaiag what- 
ever, except the attitude, to prevent^her from miking. 

<« Mr. Dombey is devoted to Nature, I trust ? " 
said Mrs. Skewton^ settling her diamcmd brooch. 
And by the ii^y> she chiefly lived unon the reputa- 
tion of some diamonds, and her family connexioas. 

<* My friend Dombey,ma^ani," returned the Major, 
** may be devoted to her in secret, but a mati> who is 
paramount in the greatest city in the univ«rse-^-i— *' 

<< No one caa be a stranger," said Mrs. Ske#ton, 
"to Mr. Dombey's immense isfluenoe." 

As Mr. Dombey acknowledged the compliment 
with a bend of his head, the younger lady glancing at 
him, met his ^yeSk 

** You reside here, madam ^ '' said Mr. Dombey, 
addressing her. 

" No, we have been* to a great many j^aces. To 
Harrogate, and Scarborough, and into Devonshire. 
We have been visiting, and resting here and there. 
Mamma likes change." 

" Edith of course does not," said Mrs. Skewton, 
with a ghastly archness. 

' "I' have not found that there is any change in 
such places," was the answer, delivered with supreme 
indifference. 

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DOMBBY ANI> SON 5 

<* They tibel mew There is only one change, Mr. 
Dombey, " obserred Mrs* Skewton, with a mincing 
sigh, ** for which I really cM^e, and that I fear 1 
shall never be permitted to enjoy* People cannot 
spare one. But seclusion and contemplation are my 
what'f«hia-name— " 

<* If you mean Paradise^manma^yott had better say 
8O9 to render yourself intelligible,'' said the younger 
lady. 

<<My dearest Edith," returned Mrs^ Skrwton, 
<< you know that I am wholly dependent vnoa you 
for those odiouii names* I assure you, Mr* I^ombey, 
Nature intended me for an Ancadian* I am thrown 
away in society^ Cows are my passion* What I 
have ever sighod 6Xf has been to retreat to a Swiss 
farm,' and lire entirely surrounded by cows-*«id 
china." , 

This curious association of objects^ suggesting a 
remembrance of the celebrated bull who got by mis- 
take into a crockery shop, was received with, perfect 
gravity by Mr. Dombey, who intimated his oprasoo 
that Nature was, no doubt, a very re^cubie institu- 
tion. 

** What I want," drawled Mrs. Skewton, pinching 
her shrivelled throaty ** is liearu" It was frightfully 
true in one sense^ if not in ^t in- which she used the 
phrase. '< What I want, is frankness, confidence, less 
conventionality, and freer play of souL We are so 
dreadfolly artificial." 

We were, indeed. 

•* In, short," said Mrss Skewton,/^! want Nature 
everywhere^ It would be iso^xtremcly charming." 

** Nature is iwritiog us away now« nuMUoa, if you are 
ready/' ukd €he youQger lady, curling herfaandsOme 
lip* . At this hisf, the wan page, whahad been Bur- 



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o DOMBBV AND BOH 

ireyiog the party otcr the t<^ of the chatr, Tamshed 
behind it, as if die ground had swallowed him up. 

*<Stop a moment. Withers! " said Mre. Skewt(»i, 
as the chair began to move ; calling to the page with 
all -the languid dignity with which she liad called in 
days of yore to a coachman with a Wig, caoHiower 
nosegayf and silk stockisgs. ** Where are jou stay- 
ingy abonuoBtioQ ? " 

The Major was staying at the Royal Hotel, with 
his iricad Dohibey. 

** Ycmmay cone and seevs any evening when you 
are good;" lisp^ Mrs. Sk^wtasu ** If Mr. Donibey 
will honour us, we shall be happy. Withers, ga oti ! '* 
' Thef Major again peseed to Ills blue lips the tips 
of the fingers that, were disposed on Uie l^ge of the 
wheelediiiair with careful carelessness, after the Cleo- 
patra model : and Mr. Dombey bowed. The elder 
lady honoured them bodi with a very 'gracious smile 
and a girlish ware of -ber hand; the younger hidj 
with the Tery slightest incloiation of her head tlrat 
coamion courtesy allowed/ . ' ' • ' 

The last glimpse of^tbe wrinkled face ctf t§ie 
mother, with that patched colour on it which €he 
sun made infinitely, mord haggard f and dismaf'than 
any want of coloar could have bodn, afld of die ]M-oud 
beauty of the daogfater with her gracefiil figure and 
erect deportment^ engendered sttc^-an iiivokmtary 
disposition' on 4he part of both the Major and Mr. 
Dombey to look after them, that they bt>th turned at 
the same moment. The pge, nearly as much aslant 
aaiiis 6wiishaHihv» was toding 'after thex^hah-. Uphill, 
like B slow batteringMtim$* ihe top^of ^Cleopatra's 
bonnet was fintteri^g wenacdy tl|e tfaMe Cdtner to tlie 
indi as before ; and die Beatt^ loitei^g by Wiself 
a litde ia adhdiBce, esGprejssed inM Jmv degabt foriii» 

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OOilBKY AUD SON 7 

from iiead to foot; the same supreme disregard of 
everything and everybody. 

<< I tell you what, stfy" said die Major, as they 
resumed' their walk again. *^ If Joe Bagstock were 
a yoimger man, there's not a woman 'in the world 
whom he'd prefer for Mrs. Bagstock to that woman. 
By George, sir 1 '* said the Major, ^she's superb ! " 
**Do yott mean the daughter?'' inquired Mr. 
Dombey. 

<^ Is Joey B. a tunlip^ Dombey/' said the Major, 
*< that he should mean the mother t '^ 

** You were compfimeaiaty to the mother," re- 
turned Mr. Doit^y. 

<< An ancient flafne,r8ir/' chuckled Major Bag*- 
stock. ** De^li^ ancient. I humour her." 

" She impresses me as being perfect^ genteel," 
said Mh Dbmbey. 

" Genteel, sir," said the Major, stoppmg short, 
and starm^ in his' companion's face, ^f The Hon- 
ourable -Mrs. SkeWton, sir, is sister to the late Lord 
Feenix, and aunt to the present lord* The family 
are not w^thy -^ they^re poor, indeed -^ aiid she 
lives upon a sm^l jointure ; bat if you come to blood, 
sir!" The Major gave a flourish with his 'stick 
and walked on 'again, in despair of be^g able to say 
what yon 'Came to,- if yon came to that. 

** I on addressed the daughter, I observed," said 
Mr. Dombey, aii^r a short paiiise, ^as Mrs. 
Granger." 

" Edith Skewtbfl, Sir;" returned the Major> 
stopping sh6rt- agaiti, anfd punching a mark in the 
gromd • wiiji his* cane, to represent her, ^* married 
(at eighteen) Granger of Ours $ " whom the Major 
indica^ 'by aactjmer punch. • •« Granger, sir," 
said the Major, tapping the lasi i^iekl portrait, and 

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8 MNMBEV ANO SON 

roiling his head ^mphatica%» **wm Coloael of 
Ours ; a de-vilish handsome fellow, • sir, of forty- 
onew He dibdy sir, in the second year of his 
marriage." The Major ran the represeatatlve of 
the deceased Granger through and through the 
body with Im waikbg-stidk, and went on agun, 
carrying his stick over his shoulder. 

:^ How long 18 this ago i " ashed Mr « Dombey, 
making another halt. 

. << Edith Grango", •ir/' re|Jied thei Major, shut- 
ting one eye, putting his head on one «kie, passing 
his cane into his left hand^ and smoothing his shirt- 
frill with his right, ^^is, at this present time, not 
quite thirty. Aod, 'daiiime, sir," s»d ihe Major, 
shouldering his stick once morfc, and walking oa 
again, " slw's a peerless woman ! '* 

« Was there any family ? " asked Mr. Dombey 
presendy^ 

"Yes, sir,?' said the Major. « There was a boy." 

Mr. Dombey'seyes sought the ground, and a 
idiade came over his face. 

<<Who was drowned, sir," pursued; the Major, 
" when a cUld of four or five years old." 

<^ Indeed ^" said Mr, Dombey, jjaising his head. 

<<'By:the upscitting of a boat: in which his nurse 
had no business to have put him," said the Major. 
*< That's hu history. Edith Granger is Edidi 
Granger still ; bu( if tough old Joey B.^ sir, were a 
little younger and a little richer, the name of that 
immortal paragon should be B^gstoek." 

The Major heaved his kfaoulders, and his cheeks, 
and laughed more like an over-feel Mephisto^^ieles 
than ever, as he said the wordsi^ • 

" Provided thelady made no-objcfttion^I suj^oee ? " 
told Mr. Dombey coldly* 

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DOMBEY AND SON 9 

«5y Gad, lir/' said the Major, ^^the Bagstock 
breed' are not accustomed to that son of obstacle. 
Though it's true enoii^h that Edith migbt have 
manried twen-ty times, but for being proud, siTt 
proud." 

Mr. Dombey seemed, by his &ce, to think na 
worse of her for that, 

^It's a great quality after all/' said the Major. 
** By the Lcnrd, it's a hi^ quality ! Dombey I 
You are proud yourself, and your friend. Old Joe, 
remcts you for it, sir*" 

With this tribute to the character of his ally, 
which seemed to be wrung from him hy the ferce of 
circumstances and the irresistible tendency of their 
coDversation, the Major cloeed the subject, and 
glided into a general expositton of the extent to 
which he hwl been belored and doated on by 
splendid women and brilliant c r ca tlu re s * 

On the next day hot one, Mr. Dombey and the 
Major encountered the Honourable Mrs. Skewton 
and her daughter tn the Pump-room ; on the day 
afrer, they met them again vtry near the place 
where they had met them first. After meeting 
than thus, duree or four times in all, it became a 
point of vacre civility to old acquaintances that the 
Major should go there one eTcniug. Mr. Dombey 
had not originally intended to pay visits, but on the 
Major announcing this intentioii, he said he would 
have the {Measure of accompanying him. So the 
Major told the Native, to go round before dinner, 
and say, with his and Mr. Dombey 's compliments, 
that they would have the honoun of visiting the 
ladies that same evening, if the faKlies were alone. 
In answer to whkk message, the Native brought 
back a very small note with a very large quantity of 



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lo DOMBBV AND SON 

sceot abbut it, indited by the Hooourable Mrs. 
Skewton to Major Bagstock, and briefly saymg, 
**Yo\JL are a shocking bear, and I haTe a great 
mind not to forgive you,' but if you we very good 
indeed," which was underlined, "you may come. 
Compliments (io which £dith unites) to Mr. 
Dombey." 

The Honourable Mrs. Skewton and her daughter, 
Mrs. Giknger, vesidedt while at Leamington, in 
lodgings' 'that -were iRishionad4e. enough and dear 
enough, but rather limited In point of «pace and 
conyeaiences ; so that the Hanoorable Mrs. Skew- 
ton, bmg in bed, hod her feet in the window aad 
her he^d in the-fireplace, while the Honourabie Mrs. 
Skewton'^ maid was quartered in a closet within die 
ch'awing'-roofn, so extreiqely .small, that, -to arroid 
developing thb \^hoIe of its aocomiiiodations, she 
was obliged to writhe in and out of tht door like a 
beautiful serpent. Withers, the wan page, ekpt but 
of the house immediately undeh the tiles at a neigh- 
bouring milkrshop ; and the whieekd jchair,. which 
was' the stone x>f diat young .'Sisyphus^ passed the 
TO^t m a shed belonging to the same d»ry, where 
new-laid eggs were produced by the poultry con- 
nected with the. establishment, who roosted on a 
broken^ donkey-carty persuaded, to all aj^siearaiice, 
that it grew there, anyd was a species of treei^ 
. Mr. Dombey atad the* Major found Mrs. Skewton 
arranged, as Cteoipatra, among the cu^ionb of a 
8o£b :' very airily dressed ;t and certainly not re- 
sembling Shakespeare's ! Cl^<ipatra, whom age coold 
not wither* On tbeif way nip atadrs tfaey bad heard 
the sound of a Harp, but it had roeased on dieir being 
announced, *«nd Edith now 8«6od beside it iuuid- 
iiomer'aiid,ha^gfaitierthan ever. £t was a remarkable 

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BOMBBY.AND BON it 

characteristic of this lady's beauty that k appeared 
to vaunt atid assert itself without her atd^ and 
against her trill. 8be knew that she was beautiful:, 
it was impossible that it could be oth^wise : but 
she seemed with her «wn pride to defy her very 
self. .<, ..' 

-Whether Ahe held cheap, attractions that 'coold 
only call forth admiration that was worthless to her,. 
or whether she designed to render .tfaeiti more 
precious to aAtnirek% -by^ this nsage . ti£ them,' those 
tx> whom ehey- -^mre precioub sekiom paused ta 
consider.- ' ■ . .• 

'•«I hop*?, Mrs. Granger," 'said Mr- Dombey, 
advancing a step towards her, ^ w« are .not the 
cause of J«)ur ceadfflg *o pfay ? '* ' ! . 

*^You? oh no!" 

<i Why do- y©ii' not go on, dien, my • dearest 
Edith ?" said Cleopatra.* -r ♦ . 

** I left off as I bega&— of my own ^WKy."^. 

The exquisite indi^ecence of her raaaner.in<sayiag 
this : an nktiirerence- quite removed from dubess or 
insensilnlity, for it wa» pointed with pibod piirpose ^ 
was Well-set off by the^- carelessness with ^irinch she 
drew" het hand across -the strings, and came from 
that part of the room. ' : 

<*Do you knew, Mr. Dombey,f' said het* 
knguishing mother, playing with "a haad-scmeiv 
<< that occaisionally my dearest Edith and myself 
actually* aliiwist difer-^^—" ./ • . 

** Not quite, sometimes, mamma ? ^' said Edidi; I 

"Oh never quitb, my »■ darling'!' Fie, fie, it 
wouid Weak my heart," returqnsd hei mother, 
making a ^nt' attempt to pat her < with; the sorfie% 
whieh Edith made rio-mbvement- to* lmeet^«^ about 
these <:c4d tSOtlvetitiontlides of manner ' thai: i^rr 



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12 DOMBEY AND SON 

obeerTed in little things? Why are we not 
more natural ! Dear me ! With all those yeam- 
ingSy and goshings, and impulsive throbbings that 
we have imphmted in our souis^ and which are so 
▼ery charming^ why are we not more natural ? " 

Mr. Dombey said it was very true, very true. 

**Wc could be more natural I suppose if we 
tried ? " said Mrs. Skewton* 

Mr. Dombey thought it possible. 

"Devil a bit, ma'am/' said the Majon "We 
couldn't afford it. Unless the world was peopled 
with J. B.'8 — tough and blunt old Joes, ma am, 
plain red' herrings with hard roes, sir — ^we couldn't 
afford it. It wouldn't do," 

" You naughty infidel,'^ vaid Mrs. Skewton, " be 
mute." 

"Ckopatra commands^" returned the Major, 
kissing his hand, " and Antony Bagstock obeys. 

"The man has no sensitiveness," said Mrs. 
Skewton, cmeUy holding np the hand*screen,40 as 
to «hut'the Major out* "No sympathy. And 
what do we live for dui sympathy ! What else is 
so extreineljr charming I Without that gleam of 
sunshine on our cold cM. earth," said Mrs» Skewton, 
arranging her lace tucker, and complacently observing 
the effect of her bare lean arm, looking inward 
from the wrist, "how could we possibly b^ it ? In 
short, obdurate man ! '^g]ancing at the Major, round 
the screen, *<I would have my world all heart $ and 
Faith is so excessively charming, that I » won't 
allow you to disturb it, do you, hear ? " 

The Major replied that it Was bard in Cleopsitra 
to require the world to be all r hearty and yet to 
appropriate to hersdf the hearts of all . the world ; 
which obliged Cleopatra to remind. him that fla^ery 

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DOMBEV AND SON 13 

was msapportaMe to her, and that if he had the 
boMtiefis to address her m that strain any more, she 
wocdd positively send him home. 

Withers the Wan^ at this period, handing round 
the tesi, Mr. Dombey agi&i addrmed himself to 
Edith. 

<< There is not much company here, it would 
seem i '* said Mr. Dombey, in his own portentous 
gentlemanly way. 

** I believe not. We see none." 
"Why really," observed Mrs. Skewton from 
her couch, ** there are no people here jost now with 
whom we care to associate." 

« They have not enough heart," said €dith^ with 
a smile. The very twilight of a smile : so singularly 
were its light and darkness blended. 

"My dearest Edith rallies me, you see! " said 
her mother, skii^ing her head : which shook a little 
of itself sometimes, as if the palsy twinkled now and 
then in opposition to the dkmonds. " Wicked one ! " 
"You have been herci before, if I am not 
mistake^ ^ " said Mr. Dbmbey. Still to Edith. 

"Oh, several times; I think we have been 
everywhwe.*' 

" A beautiful country ! " 
" I suppose it is. 'Everybody says so." ' * ' 
"Your cousin Peenix ravfes about it, Edith," 
interposed her mother ^om her cOuch. 

The daughter slightly turned her graceful head, 
and raising her eyebrows by a hair*s-breadth, as if 
her cousin Feenix were of all the mortal world the 
least to be regarded, tiu*fied her ^yes again towards 
Mr. Dombey. 

" I hope, for the credit of my good uste, that I 
am tired of the neighbourhood," she said. 

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f4 OOM3&Y AICD SOU 

<<Yqu haye almost reason to be, madam,'' he 
reftlipd, glaacing at a variety of laodncape drawings, 
of which he had already recognised several as 
representing aeighbouriog points of view, and 
whiA weae ttrewd abaodantly aboui the room, << if ^ 
these beautify productions are from your hand." 

She gave hun no refJy, but sat in.a diatbinfiil 
bean^^ quite amazing. - i 

" Have they that interest ? " said Mr. Dombey. 
"Are they yours?" 
. "Yes." 

" AM yo« play, I aheady know/' 

"Yes." 

"Andsfcg?"- 

"Yea." ,....,._; 

She answered all these qnestioils with a atrange 
reluctance ; and with that renaarkable air of ojiposi- 
tioQ to herself already noticed as bekmging to her 
beauty. Yet she was not embarrassed, .but wholly 
self-possessed. Neither did i^ seem to wish to 
avoid the K:oiiver8ation, for 6he- addressed her, face, 
and--^-80 far >as she couldr*-h^r manner also, to him ; 
and continued to do so^ when be was mlent. . ' ) 

** You have many resources against wearitiess at 
least," said Mr. Dombey. 

"Whatever their efficiency may be," she returned, 
" you know them all now. I have no morQ."r 

" May I hope to prove thetp all ? "' said Mr. 
Dombey, with solemn gallantry, laying down a 
drawmg he had held^ and 'motioning towards the 
haq). 

." Oh certeinly ! If yon desire .it ! " 

She rose as she spoke, and crossing by her 
mother's couch, and directing a stately look towards 
her, which was instantaneous^ in its duration, but 

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DOMBSy AfmiSO^ 15 

iDclurive (if dny one had seenk^ o£ a multitude of 
expressions^ among which that of the twilight aaiil«^ 
without Ihe ttmk itseify overshadowed all the rest, 
went out of the roott. 

The Major, who was (|iiite^ forgive by this tim^ 
had wheeled a little table ii|> to Cleopatra, and was 
sittkig down to play picquet.. with her. Mr. 
Dambey». not kxiqwing the game, sat down to watch 
UmHh &x his edificiltioii uatilEditjb should return. 

<<We ai^e going, to have sotme mwic, Mr. 
D<Mnbey, I hope 2 "said Qeopatra. 1 

*^ Mrsfc Granger h»s> beea kiid edough tp promise 
so," said Mr. Dprnbey. 

" Ah ! That's very nice. Do you propose, 
Major?" 

"No, ma'am," said ite Major.- f* Couldn't 
doit." 

"You're a barbarous being," replied the lady, 
^^and my hand's destroyed. You are, fond of 
music, Mr. Dombey ? "• • i- 

** Eminendy so,' was Mr. Dombey's answer^ 

" Yes. It's very nice," said Cleopatra, Jeokii^ 
at her cards. " So iiliich heart in- it^ — undeveloped 
recollections of a previous state of e^^tstence — ^^nd 
all that— wldch is so truly* charmiug. Po you 
know," simpered Cleopatra, Kversing the knavt of 
clubs, who had tome into her game with his heels 
u{^ntio6t, " tkatif anytiiii&g eould tempt me to pvit 
a peridd to my life, it would be curiosity to find out 
what it's all about, and what it means ; there are so 
many provoking mysteries, really, that are hidden 
from us. Major, you to play ! ' 

The Major played ; and Mr. Dombey, looking 
on for his instruction, would soon have been in a 
state of dire confusion, but that he gave no attention 



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i6 DOMBEY AND SON 

to the game whatercAr, and sat ivonderbg instead 
when Edkh would come back. 

She came at kist, and sat down to her harp, and 
Mr. Dombey rose and stood heside her, Hstemng. 
He had' little taste for nmsicy and no knowledge of 
the strain she played, but he saw hcfr bending over 
it, and perhaps he heard among the sounding strings 
some distant music of his own, that tamed the 
monster of the irott road, and made tfc lessinexonibie. 

Cleopsitra had a sharp eye, verily, at picqaet. " It 
glistened like a bird's, and did not fix itself upon 
the game, but pierced the room from end m end, 
and gleamed on harp, performer, ' listetier, every- 
thing. 

When the haughty beauty had concluded, she 
arose, and receivmg Mt. Dombey's thanks and 
compliments in exactly the same manner as before, 
went with'' scarcely any pause to the piano, and 
began there. 

Edith Granger, any song bat that! Edith 
Granger, you are very handsome, and your touch 
upon the keys is brilliant, and your voice is deep 
and rich; but not the air that his neglected daughter 
sang to his dead son ! 

Alas, he knows it not ; and if he did, what air 
of hers would stir him, rigid nutn ! Sleep, lonely 
Florence, sleep! Peace in thy dreams^ although 
the night has turned dai4[, and the clouds are 
gathering, ' and threaten to discharge themselves in 
haU! 



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DOMBEY AND SON 17 

Chapter XXII 

A TRirU OP MANAGEMENT BT MR. CARKER THE MANAGER 

MR. CARKER the Manager sat at his desk, 
smooth and soft as usual, reading those 
letters which were reserved for him to open, backing 
them occasionally with such memoranda and re- 
ferences as their butlioess purport required, and 
parcelling them out into Httle heaps for distribution 
through the several departments of the House. The 
post had come in heavy that morning, and Mr. 
Carker the Manager had a good deal to do. 

The general action of a man so engaged — ^pausing 
to look over a bundle of papers in his hand, dealing 
them round in vaHous portions, taking up another 
bundle and examining its contents with knitted brows 
and porsed-out Kps— dealing, and torting, and pon- 
dering by tunw — ^wouid easily Suggest some whimsi- 
cal resemblance to a player at cards. The face of 
Mr. Carker the Manager was in good 'keeping with 
such a ^ncy.' '' It was the face of a man who studied 
his play, warily : who made himself master of all the 
strong and weak points of the game: who registered 
the cards in his mind as they fell about htm,' knew 
exactly what was on them, what they missed, and 
what they made : who was crafty to find out what 
the other players held, and who never betrayed his 
own hand. 

Tfee letters v^tte in various languages, but Mr. 
Carker the Manager read them all. if th^e had 
been anjrthidg in Ae offices of Dombey and Son 
that he could not read, there would have been a card 
wanting in the pack. He read almost at a glance, 
and made combinations of one letter with another 
II. c 

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la DOMBET AND SOK 

and one business with another as he went on, adding 
new matter to the heaps — mijch sts a man would 
know the cards at sight, and work out their com- 
binations in his mind after they were turned. Some- 
thing too deep for a partner^ and much too deep for 
an adversary, Mr. Carker the Manager sat in (lie 
rays of the sun that came down slanting on him 
through the skylight, playing his game alooe. 

And although it is not sunoog the instincts wild 
or domestic of the cat tribe to play at cards, feline 
ftora sole to crown was Mr. Carker the Manager, as 
he basked in the «trip of summer-light and warmth 
that shone upon his table and the ground as if they 
were a crooked dial-*plate, and himself the only 
figure on it. With hair and whiskers deficient m 
colour at all times, but feebler than common in the 
rich sunshine, and more like the coat of a sandy 
tortoise-shell cat ; with long nails, moely p^red and 
sharpen^ : with a natural antipathy to any speck of 
dirt, which made him pause sometimes and watch 
the falling motes of dust, and rilb them off his 
smooth white hand or glossy linen : Mr. Carker the 
Manager, sly of manner, sharp of tooth, soft of 
foot, watchful of eye, oily of tongue, cruel oS heart, 
nice of habit, sat with a dainty steadfastness and 
patience at his work, as if he were waiting at a 
mouse's hole. 

At length the letters were disposed of, excepting 
one which he reserved for a particular audience. 
Havii^ locked the more Goofidential^^corresppniletice 
in a drawier, Mr.. Carker the Manager rang his bell. 

** Why do jww answer it ? " wa« his re^eptioQ of 
his brother. 

<< The. messenger is out, 4iid I am the next," was 
the submissive reply. 

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]>OMBEY AND SOS i9 

" Vou are the next 1 " muttered the Manager. 
"Yes! Creditable «;p me I There!" 

Pointing to the heaps of opened letters, he turned 
disdainfully away, in his elboW'^chair, and broke the 
seal of that one which he held in his hand. 

<< I am sorry to trouble you, James," said the 
brother, gathering them up, " but " 

** Oh ! you have something to say. I knew that. 
Well?" 

Mr. Carker the Manager did not raise, his eyes or 
turn them on his brother, but kept them on his letter, 
though without opening it. 

« Well ? " he repeated sharply. 

^ I am uneasy about. Harriet." 

** Harriet who ? what Harriet ? I know nobody 
of that name." 

^* She is not well, and has changed very much of 
late." 

*^She. chaqged very much, a ; great many years 
ago," replied ^e Manager ; ** and that is all I have 
to say." 

" I think if you would hear ipe-, " 

"Why should I hear you, Broriier John?" 
returned tl|e Manager, laying, a sarcastic emphasis 
on those two words, and throwing up his head, but 
not lifting his eyes*, ^^I tell you, Harriet ' Carker 
made her choice- many years ago between her two 
brothers. She may repent it, but she must abide 
by it." 

" Don't mistake me. I do . not say she* does 
repent it. It would be black ingratitude in me to 
hint at such a thing," returned, the other. : " Though 
believe me, James, I am. as ^rry for her sacrifice as 
you." 

" As I ? " exclaimed the Manager. " As I ? " 

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td dombbV and son 

** AJ Borry for her choice — for what you call 
her choice — as you are singly at it,** said the 
Junior. 

" Angry ? " repeaited' the other, with a wide show 
of his teeth. 

^Displeased. Whatever word you Kke best 
You know my meaning. Ther^ is no ofFence in my 
intention.'* 

«* There is ofFence in everything you do,'* replied 
his brother, glancing at him wrch ia e^den' scowl, 
which in a moment gave plac^ to a' wider smile than 
the last. ^* Carry those papers awiy, if you please. 
I am busy." 

His politeness was so much mofe cutting- than his 
wrath, that the Junior wei^t to the door. But 
stopping at it, and looking round, he said : 

"When Harriet tried in vain to plead for me 
with you, on your first just indignation, and my first 
disgrace ; and when she left you, James^ to follow 
my b^ken flMrltine^ "and dfitckt herself, in her 
mistaken affection, to a ruined brother, because with- 
out her he had no onef, and was lost ; she was' young 
and pretty. I think if yoli coulU see her now — ^if 
you wiouid go and see her-^— she would move your 
admirftcion and compassion.'* 

The 'Manager inclined his head, and showed his 
teeth, as who- should say, in answer t6 some careless 
sms^I-talk, << Dea^ ikiel Is that' the case?" but 
said never a word. 

** We thought in those days : you and ' I both : 
that she would marry young, and lead a happy and 
light^hiekrted life," pdrstwd the other. « Oh if you 
knew how cbeerfully she cast thos^ hdpes away ; 
how cheerfully she has gone forward on the .path ibie 
took, and never once looked back ; you never could 

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OOMBEV AMD SON ii 

say again that her name was strange in your ears. 
Nener!" 

A^ain the Manager inclined his head, and 9h6wed 
his te^, and'teem^ to say, ^\ Remarkable indeed ! 
You quite' sunprise me ! " And again he uttered 
never a. word. . 

** May I go on ? '' said John Garker, mildly. 

"On your way?" replied his smiling broths. 
" If yon will have the goodness." 

John C^ker^ with a' sigh* was passing slowly oiit 
at the dpor» when his brother's voice. detained him 
for a. moment :on the threshold* 

** If shi; .'has gone* and goes» her own -way cheer- 
fully,'' he said,, throwing the still, unfbkled letter on 
his desk, and nutting his handa firmly in his pockeu, 
** you may tell her t;h£lt I : go as cheerfully on mine. 
If she has never once looked backi»:yoii may i tell her 
that I h^vey.sQmetin^eSt to re^U her taking part with 
you, and. (that my. resolution is. tkO eteier to wear 
away;" he snuled \^y. sweetly here; "than 
marble/' 

" I teli . her nothing of you. We never speak 
about you. Once a year,<odyour birthday,' Harriet 
says afwaysy * Let us remember James by name, and 
wish him happy,' but we say no more." 

«* Tell it then, if you please," returned the other, 
"to yourself* You can t i^epeatiit too often, as a 
lesson tOiyoEto^void the subject in speaking ^to me. 
I know no» Harriet Corker. There is no, such.person. 
Thu m^y have a ij^$ier ;. saak^much of her. >.. I have 
nope." ".. .. ., ."• ., A' • '... 

<Mr. Cark^the Mf^iHg^r.took inp the letter again, 
sokI .waived it wMi a smUe of mock courtesy towiardi 
the door. Unfolding it ..^ , his br<»ther. withdrew, 
and looking darkly after him as he, left the room, he 

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22 DOMBEY Am> SDK 

once more 'turned round in his elbow-chair^ and 
applied himself to a diligent perusal of its contents; 

It was in the writing of his great chief, Mr. Dom- 
bey, and dated from Leamington. Though he was 
a quick reader of all other lettersyMr. Cftrker read 
this slowly : weighing the words as he went, and 
bringing every tooth in his head to bear upon them. 
When he had read it through once, he turned' it over 
again, and picked out these passages. ^I find myself 
benefited by the change, and am not yet inclined to 
name any time for my return.'* "I wish, Carker, 
you would arrange to come down once and see me 
hercs, and let me know how things are Agoing on, in 
person/' ^^ I omitted to speak to you about young 
Gay. If not gone per Scto and Heir^ or if Son and 
Heir itill lying in the Docks, appoint some other 
youhg man -a»d' keep him in the City for the present. 
I am not decided," ^ Now that's ui^ortunate ! ** said 
Mr. Carker the Manager, expanding his mouth, as if 
it were made of india-rubber : « for he's far away ! " 

Still that passage which was in a postscript, attract- 
ed his attention and his teeth, oiice more. 

**I thmk," he said, ^* my good friend Captain 
Cuttle mentioned something about being towed along 
in the wake of that day. What a pity he's so far 
away ! " 

He refolded the letter, and was sitting trifling 
with it, standipg- it long- wise and broad-wise on his 
table, ^nd turning it over and ^ver on ail sides — 
doing' pretty much the same Uting perhaps^ by its 
contents — when Mr. Perch the messenger knocked 
softly at the door, and coming in on* tiptoe, bedding 
his body at every step as if i« were the delight of his 
life' to bow, laid some papers on the table. 

" Would you please to be etoga^ed, sir ? " asked 

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DOMBEY AND SON 23 

Mu Perchy rubbing hfe handstand deferentially putting 
his head on one ftide, Hke a man who felt he had no 
business to hold it op in such a presence^ and would 
keep it as muchout of the way as possible.' ■- 

"Wlio wants me?" 

"Why, sir," said Mr. Perch, in a soft voice, 
" really nobody, sir, to speak of at present, Mr. 
Gills the ships' mstrument-maker, sir, has looked in, 
about a little matter of payment, he says ; but I men- 
tioned to him, sir, that you was engaged several deep; 
sev^al deep." 

Mr. Perch coughed once behind his hand, and 
waited for further orders, 

" Anybody else ? " 

"Well, sir," said Mr. Perch, « I wouldn't of my 
own self take the liberty of mentioning, sir, that there 
was anybody else ; but that same young lad that was 
hei^ yesterday, sir, and last week, has been hanging 
about the place; and it looks, sir," added Mr. 
Perch, stopping to shut the door, ** dread&l un- 
busfnesd-li'ke to see him 'whistling to the sparrows 
down the court, and making of 'em answer him." 

** You said he wanted something to do, didn't you. 
Perch ? " asked Mr. Carker, leading back in his 
chair and looking at that officer. 

** Why, sir," said Mr. Perch, coughing behind 
his hand again, "his expression certainly were that 
he was in wants of a sitiwation, and that he con- 
sidered something might be done for him about the 
Docks, being used to fishing with a rod and line?: 

but " Mr. Perch shook his head very dubiously 

indeed. 

"What does he say when he comes ? " asked Mr. 
Carker. 

" Indeed, sir," said Mr. Perch, coughing another 

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a4 OOMBEY AND SON 

cough behind his hand^ which . was always his re- 
source ad an expression of humility when nothing 
else occurred to him» ^* his obser vatbom generally air 
that he would humbly wish to see one of the gentle- 
men, and that he wants to earn a living. But you 
see, sir," added Perch, dropping his voice to a 
whisper, and turning, in the inviolable nature of his 
cotifidence, to give the door a thrust with his hand 
and knee, as if that would shut it any more when it 
was shut alrefady, <^ it's hardly to be bore, sir, that 
a common lad like that should come a prowling here, 
and aayinlg that his mother nursed our House's young 
gentleman, and that he hoped our House will give 
him a chance on that account. I am itoe, sir," 
observed Mr. Perch, **that although Mrs. Perch 
was at that time nursing as thriving a little girl, air, 
as we've ever took the liberty rof addiog. to our 
family, I wouldn't have made so, ftee as drop a hint 
of' her being capable of imparting nourishment, not 
if it was ever so ! " 

Mr. Carker grinned at him like a. shark, but in an 
absent, thoughtful manner, 

" Whether," submitted Mr. Perch, after a short 
silence, and another pough, " it mightn't be best for 
me to tell him, that if he was seen here any, wore he 
would be given into, custody ;. ^nd to keep, to it ! 
With respect to bodily fear," said Mr. Perch, "I'm 
so timid, myself, by nature, sir, and my nerves is so 
unstrung by Mrs. Perch's state^ that I could take 
my iaffidavit easy.", 

"Let me see this fellow, Perch," said Mr. 
Carker. " Bring him in ! " 

"Yes, sir. Begging your pardon, sir," said -Mr. 
Perch, hesitating at the door, " he's rough, sir» in 
appearance/' 

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DOMBBY AND SON as 

« Never mind. If he's there, bring him in. Til 
see Mr. Gills directly. Ask him to. wait." 

Mr. Perch bowed; dtid shutting the door, as 
precisely and carefuU^ as if he were aot coining back 
for a week, went on his qaest among thi^ sparrows 
in the court. While he was^ gone» Mr. .Carker as- 
sumed his favourite attitude before the fireplace, 
and stood looking at the door; presenting, with 
his under lip tucked into the smile that showed his 
whole row of upper teeth, a singularly (crouching 
appearance. i 

The messenger, was not long inxeturning, followed 
by a pair of heavy boots, that came bumping along 
the passage like boxes. With the unceremonious 
words "Come along with you I "-rra^jvery unu^rual 
form of introduction from his lips — Mr. Perch then 
ushered into the presence's atroeg-built lad of fifteen, 
with a round red face^ a ^ound fiteek head, tound 
black eyes, round, limbs, and round ibody, who, to 
carry out the general rotundity of hia appearance, 
had a 'round 1^ in his hand, without a particle of 
U-im to it. • ' ' . ' 

Obedient to a nod ifrom Mr. Carker, Perch 
had no sooner confronted the visitor with that gentle- 
man than he withdrew. . The nKMafient they were 
face to face: alone, Mr. Carker, without a wond a£ 
preparation, took him by the throat, and shook him 
until his head ieened loose upon his shoulders. 

The boy, who in die midst of his astpnishment 
could not help staring wildly at the gentleman with 
so many 'v^hite, teeth who was choking hipi, and alt 
the office walls, a& though determined, if he.^^r^ 
choked, that his last look should b^ at the mysteries 
for his inU'uston into which, he- was paying such a 
severe penalty, at last contirived to utter-:- , . . 

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26 DOMBET AND SON 

" Come, sir ! You let me alone, will you !" 

« Let you alone ! " said Mr. Carker. « What ! 
I have got you, have I ? " There was no doubt of 
that, and dghtly too. <' You dog," said Mr. Carker, 
through his set jaws, ** I'll strangle you 1 " 

Biler whimpered, would he though ? oh no he 
wouldn't — ^and what was he doing of — and why 
didn't he strangle somebody of his own size and not 
htm: but Biler was quelled by the extraordinary 
nature of his reception, and, as his head becatne 
stationary, and he looked the gentleman in the face, 
or rather in the teeth, and saw him snarling at him, 
he so ^r forgot his manhood as to cry. 

" I haven't done nothing to you, sir," said Biler, 
otherwise Rob, otherwise Grinder,, and always 
Toodle. 

** You young scoundrel !" replied Mr* Carker, 
slowly releasing him, and moving back a step into his 
favourite position. " What do you mean by daring 
to come here?" 

" I didn't mean no harm, sir," whinipered Rob, 
putting one hand to his throat, and the knuckles of 
the cither to his eyes. *< I'll never come agiun, sir. 
I only wanted work." 

^ Work, young Cain that you are !" repeated Mr. 
Carker, eyeing him narrowly. "An't you the 
idlest vagabond in London ? " 

The impeachment, while it fBuch affected Mr. 
Toodle Junior, attached to his character so justly, 
that he could not say a word in denial. He stood 
looking at the gentleman, therefore, with a fright- 
ened, self-convicted, and remorseful air. ' As to his 
looking at him, it may be observed that he was 
fascinated by Mr. Carker, and never took his round 
eyes off him for an' instant. 

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DOMBBV AND SON 27 

" An*t yon a thief? " said Mr. Carker, with hk 
hands behind him in his pockets. - 

" No, sir," pleaded Rob. 

« You arc ! *' said Mr. Carker. 

" I an't indeed, sir,'* whimpered Rob. " I never 
did such a thing as thiere, sir, if you'll believe me. 
I know I've been a going wrong, sir, ever since I 
took to* bird-catching and walking*matching. I'm 
sure a cove might think, sir,'' said Mr. Toodle 
Junior, with a burst of penitence, <* that singing birds 
was Innocent company, but nobody Idnows what harm 
is in them little creeturs and what they brings you 
down to." ' 

They seemed to have broughtiSvmdowntoa velveteen 
jacket and trousers very much the worse for wear, a 
prticularly small red waistcoat like a gorget, an 
interval of blue check, and the hat before mentioned. 

^' I an't been home twenty times since them birds 
got their will of me," said Rob, "and that's ten 
months. How can I go home when everybody's 
miserable to see me ! I wonder," said Biler, blubber- 
ing outright, and smearing his eyes with his coat-cuff, 
"that I haven't been and drowiided myself over and 
over again." 

All of which, including his exiM-ession of surprise 
at not having achieved this last scarce performance, 
the boy said, just as if the teeth of Mr. Carker 
drew it out of him, and he had no power of conceal- 
ing anything with that battery of attraction in full 
play. 

" You're a nice young gentleman ! " said Mr. 
Carker, shaking his head at htm. " There's hemp- 
seed sown for you^ my fine fellow ! " 

**»I*m sure, sir," returned the wretched Biler, 
blubbering again, and again having recourse to his 

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28 DOMBBY ANP SON 

I 

coat-cuff.: ** I shoiddn't care, sometimes, if it was 
growed too. My misfortanes all begattio waggiog, | 
sir ; but what could I do,^ etcepdn' w'dg i " 

" Excepting what ? " taid Mr. Carker*. 

" Wag, sif . WaggtQg frdm school " 

<<Do you mean pretending to go there, and not I 
going ? " said Mr. Carker. 

<<Ye8 sir, .that's wagging, sir," retun^Bd the 
quondam Grinder, mnch affected. *f, I was chivied 
through the. streets, sir^ 'when I went.there* and i 
pounded when Igot there. So I wagged, saaA hid 
myself, and that began k*" 

" Aiid you mean to tell me," said Mr, Carker, 
taking him by the ^6at again, holding ;him out at 
arm's-length, and surveying him in silence for some 
moments, ** that you want. a plac^, do you.? " 

«^ I should be thankful to 1>B tried, sir,". netomed 
Toddle Junior^ faintly. 

Mr. Carker the Manager pushed him backward 
into a comer-^the boy submitting quietly, hardly 
venturing to breathe, and never once removing his 
eyes from his face-— and. rang the bdl. 

"Tell Mr. Gills to come here." 

Mr. Perch was too deferential to expi-esa surprise 
or recognition of the figure in th^ corner : and Uncle 
Sol appeared immediately. 

«*Mr. Gills!" said Carker, with, a smile, "sit 
down* How. do you do? .You continue to en joy 
your health, I hope ? " 

"Thank you, sir," returned Uncle Sol, taking 
out his > pockefrfiaook, and handing over .some notes 
as he spoke, i *** Nothing ails me in body but old 
age. Twenty-five, sin." i 

"You are- as pimctual.and exact, Mr..; Gills," 
rejplied the smiling. Manager, taking > a paper from 

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bOMBBY AND SON 29 

one of his many dranirers, and making an endorsement 
on it, while Untie Sol looked over him, ** as one of 
your own chronometers. Quite right/' 

" The Son and Heir has hot been spoken, t find 
by the list, sir," said Uncle Sol, with a slight 
addition to die usual tremor in his voice. * 

^^The Soil and Heir has not been spoken," 
returned Carker. "There seems t6 have beca 
tempestuous weather, Mr. Gills, and she has pro- 
bably been driven out of her cowse." 

" She is safe, I trust in Hdaven ! " said old Sol. 

" She is safe, I trust in Heaven ! " assented Mr ' 
Carker in that voicefess manner of his : which made 
the observant young Toodie tremble again. " Mr. 
Gills," he added aloud, throwing himself back in 
his chair, "you must miss your nephew very much ? " 

Uncle Sol, standing by him, shook his head and 
heaved a deep sigh. ' 

"Mr. Gills," said Carker, with hid soft hand 
playing round his mouth, and looking up into th&' 
instrument-maker's face, ** it would be company to 
you to have a young fellow in yoiir shop just now, 
and it would be obliging me if you Would give one 
house-^t'oom for the present. No, to be sure," he 
added quickly, in antieipation of what the old mail' 
was going to say, ** there's not much business doing 
there, I know; but you can make him clean the 
place out, polish jxp^ike instruments; drudge, 'Mr. 
Gilia. That's the lad ! " 

SkA Oills pulled down ' his spectacles from his 
forehead to his eyes, ahd Ibbked at Toodie Jumor 
standing upright in the comer : his h^dd presenting 
the appearanice (which it at<iray» did) of having been 
newly drahSrti out of ai bucket df cold- Water ; his 
small waistcoat rising and falling quickly in the play 

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30 DOMBEY AND SON 

of his emotioQB ; and his eyes intently fixed on Mr. 
Carker, without the least reference to his proposed 
master. 

"Will you give him house-room, Mr Gills f" said 
the Manager* 

Old Sol, without being quite endiusiastic on 
the subject, replied thai: he was glad of any op- 
portunity, however slight, to oblige Mr. Carker, 
whose wish on such a point was a command : and that 
the wooden midshipman would consider himself 
happy to receive in his: berth any visitor of Mr. 
Carker's selecting. 

Mr. Carker bared himself to the tops and bottoms 
of his gums: making the watchful Toodle Junior 
tremble more and more : and acknowledged the in- 
strument-maker's politeness in his most affable 
manner. 

"I'll dispose of him so, then, Mr. Gills,'* he an- 
swered, rising, and shaking the old man by. the hand, 
" until I n^ake up my mind what to do with him, and 
what he deserves. As I consider myself responsible 
for him, Mr. Gills," here he smiled a wide smile at 
Rob, who shook before it : "I shall be glad if you'll 
look sharply after him, and report his behaviour to 
me* I'll ask a question or two of his parents as I 
ride home this afternoon — respectable people — to 
confirm some particulars in his; own account of 
himself; and that done, Mr« Gills, I'll send him 
round to you to-morrow morning. . Good-bye ! " 

His smile at parting was so full of teeth^ that it 
conlused old l^ol, and made him vaguely uncomfort- 
able. He went home, thinking of raging seas, 
foundering ships, drowning men, an ancient bottle 
of Madeira njever brought to light, and other dismal 
matter. 

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DOMBEY AND' SON 3« 

'* Now, boy ! " said Mr. Carker, potting his hand 
on young Toodk's shoulder, and bringing him out 
into the middle of the room. ** You. have heard 
me I 

Rob said, " Yes, sir." 

** Perhaps you understand," pursued his patron, 
" that if you ever deceive or play tricks with me, you 
had better have drowned yourself, indeed, once for 
all, before you came here ? '* 

There was nothing in any branch of mental ac- 
quisition that Rob seemed to understand better than 
that. 

" If you have lied to me," said Mr. Carker, " in 
anything, never come in my way again. If not, you 
may let me find you waiting for me somewhere near 
your mother's house this afternoon. I shall leave 
this at five o'clock, and ride there on horseback. 
Now, give me the address." 

Rob repeated it slowly,, as Mr. Carker wrote it 
down. Rob even spelt it over a second time, letter 
by letter, as if he thought that the omission of a dot 
or scratch would lead to his destruction. Mr. 
Carker then handed him out of the room : and 
Rob, keeping his round eyes fixed upon his patron 
to the last, vanished for the time being. 

Mr. Carker the Manager did a great deal of 
business in the course of the day, and bestowed his 
teeth upon a great many people. In the office, 
in the court, in the street, and on 'Change, they 
glistened and bristled to a terrible extents Five 
o'clock arriving, and with it Mr. Carker's bay 
horse, they got on horseback^ and went gleaming 
up Cheapside. 

As no one can easily ride fast, even if inclined to 
do so, through the press and throng of the City at 



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32 DOMBEY AND SON 

thM hour, and as Mr. Carker was not inclined, he 
went leisurely along, picking hie way among the carts 
and carriages, avoiding whenever he could the wet- 
ter and more dirty places in the over-watered road, 
and taking infinite pains to keep himself and his steed 
clean. Glancing at the passers-by while he was 
thus ambling' on his way, he suddetdy encountered 
the round eyes of the sleek-headed Rob intently 
fixed upon his face as if they had never been taken 
off, while the boy himself, with a pocket-handker- 
chief twisted up like a specfkled eel and girded round 
his waist, made a very conspicuous demonstration of 
being prepared to attend upon him, at whatever pace 
he might think proper t» go. ■ 

This attention, however flattering, being one of an 
unusual kind, and attracting some notice from the 
other passengers, Mr. Carker took advantage of a 
clearer thoroughfare and a cleaner road, and broke 
into a trot. Rob immediately did the same. Mr. 
Carker presently trie^ a canter ; Rob was still in at- 
tendance. Then a short gallop; it was all one to 
the boy. Whenever Mr. Carker turned his eyes to 
that side of the road, he still saw I'oodle Junior 
holding his course, apparently without distress, and 
working himself along by the elbows after the most 
approved manner of professional gentlemen who got 
over the ground for wagers. 

Ridiculous as this attendance was, it was a sign of 
an influence established oVer the boy, and therefore 
Mr. Carker, affeciting not to notice it, rode away into 
the neighbourhood of Mr. Toodle's koUse. On his 
slackening his t)ace herie, Rob' ap^ared before him 
to point out the turnings; and when he Called to a 
man at a neighbouring gateway to hold his horse, 
pendm^ his visit to the fiknldings that had succeeded 

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HOIIBBV AND SON jl 

Stagg«*8 Gardens, Rob dutifully held the Atirrup, 
while the Manager dismounted. 

"Now, sir," said Mr. Carker, takmg him by 
the shoulder, " come along ! " 

The prodigal son was evidently nertous of visiting 
the parental abode ; but Mr. Carker pushing him on 
before, he had nothing for it but to open the right 
door, and suffer himself to be walked into the midst 
of his brothers and sisters, tnustered in overwhelming 
force round the family tea«*table. At sight of the 
prodigal in die grasp of a stranger, these tender rela- 
tions united in a general howl, which smote upon the 
prodigal's breast so sharply when he saw his mother 
stand up among them, pale and trembling with the 
baby in her arms, that he lent his Cfwh voice to the 
chorus. ' ' 

Nothing doubting now that the stranger, if not 
Mr. Ketch in persoti,' was one of tliat company ,= the 
whole of the youbg family wailed the louder, while 
its more infantine meftibers, unaUi^ to control the 
transports of emotion appertaining to their time of 
life, threw themselves on their backs like young birds 
when terrified by a hawk, and' kicked violently. 
At length, poor Polly making herself audible, said, 
with quiTcring lips, «* Oh Rob, my poor boy, what 
have you done at last ! " 

* Nothing, mother,** cried Rob, in 'a piteous 
voice, ** ask the genttemati !*' ■ -• . ■ 

*< Don't be alarmed^** said' Mr. Carker, «* I want 
to do hire good." • 

At this announcemenc, Polly, who had not ciied 
yet, began to dto= so. The elder Toodles^ v^6 ap- 
peared to have been meditating a rescue, ttttclenched 
their ^sta. The younger Toodlcs clustered round 
their mother's gown, and peeped fronti under their 
n. o 

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K DOMBeV AND MUt 

own qhubby aims at their desijerado brother and 
his unknown friend. Everybody blessed the gentle- 
man with the beautiful teeth, who wanted to do 
good. 

** This fellow," said Mr. Carker to Poliy, giving 
him a gentle< shake, ** is your son» eh ma'am ? " 

« Yes, sir," sobbed PoUy, with a curtaey ; « yes, 
sir." . • 

<< A h^A w>n, I am afraid i " ^id Mr. Carker* 

if Nev^r a bad son lz> ms^ sir/' retumed Polly* 

** To whom then I " demanded Mr. Carker. 

** He. has been a Iittje wild, sir^" replied Polly, 
checking the baby, who was making convulsive 
efforta with, his armband le^s to launch htmaelf on 
Bi)fr«.thi;ough the ambient 4ir> ^'apdihas g^ae with 
wrong companions ; but I hope he has seen the 
misery of that, sir,, and will- do w€iU again." 

JVfr. Carker loji^ked a| Polly,, and the clean room, 
aod the clean chUdren, 9nd>.0)e simple Toodle face, 
combined of fjjithi^r aiKl. m0<(her> that was; reflected 
and rfipea^ everywhere about him : rand«eeaied to 
have achijsved the real pvrpo^e of hisr visit. 
. .*^ Your husbafod,, I take it, is not at home ? " he 
saadu 

•*No,.sir,'' replied..Polly.{ ••*IJe'9 down the line 
at present." ' t 

The p|'odiB4 R^^ seiemed very muph relieved to 
hear it : though, still in the: absorption of all his 
faculties in hi$ patrp0/ h^.hallc^y took his eyetf from 
Mr. Carker's face, unless for a moifient at a titne to 
8%^ a sfurow^l glance at. h>9!im>ther. - : 
. «.T*»n,?/.$j»d Mr. Carkfef, «.I'U<«ell you how I 
have stuiQt^Jed <^ this boy. 0f yoi¥r§) and who I am, 
a|id what I amgoiog^tp do for him." . 

This, Mr. C^ker did| in kufi own wajiid aayiag! 
(. 

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DOHBBY AND SON S5 

thiit he at first inteoded to have accumulated name- 
less terrors on bis presumptuous head, for coming to 
the whereabout of Dombey and Son. That he had 
relented, in consideration of his youth, his professed 
contrition, and his- Iriends.- That he was afraid he 
took a rash step m doing anything for the boy, and 
one that might expose him to the censure of the pru- 
dent ; but that he did it of himself and for himself, 
and risked the consequences single-handed ; and that 
his mother^s past connexion with Mr. Doitabey's 
family had nothing to do with it, and that Mr. 
Dombey had nothing to do with it^ but that he, Mr. 
Carker, was the bewail, and the end-all of this business. 
Taking great credit to hinlsetf ibr his goodness, and 
receiving no less firomaU ^e family then preseitt, Mr. 
Carker signified, indirealy but stilt pretty plainly, 
that Rob's implicit fidelity, attachment, snid devo- 
UOQ, were for eyermore his ^ue, and the least hoin- 
age he could receiire. And with this great truth 
Rob himself was so impressed, that, standing gazing 
on his patron' with tears rolling down his cheeks, he 
nodded his shi&y head until it«eemed almost as loose 
as it had done under the same patron's hands that 
momiDg. / • * 

Pollys who had psissed Heaven knows how many 
sleepless nights ob account of this her dissipated first- 
bom, and had not seeQf him for weeks and weeks, 
1 could have almost kneeled to Mr. Carkef the Man- 
lager, as to a Good Spirit — in spite' of his teeth. 
(But Mr. Carker rising to depart, she only thanked' 
liim with h^r mother's prayers and' blessmgs; thanks 
rich when paid out of the heart's tnint, es))ectally* 
Ifor any service Mr« Carker had rendered, that he 
night have given back a htrge amount of change, 
yet been overpaid. • 

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36 IK>MBEY AND SON 

As that gentlemaa made his way among the 
crowding chUdreii to the door, Rob retreated on 
his mother, and took, her and the baby in the same 
repentant hug. 

**I'll try hardfdear mother, now* Upon my soul 
I will! ''said Rob. 

^ Oh doy my dear . boy i I am snre yon will, 
for our sakes and your ^wn f " cried Folly, kissing 
him. *^ But you're coming back to speak to me, 
when you have seen the. gentleman away ? " 

**1 don't know, mother.'' Rob hesitated, and 
looked down* *• Father — ^whenVhecoming home ? '* 

" Not till two o'clock to-mortow morning." 

*' I'll come back, mother dear ! " cried Rob. 
And passing thiiough the shrill cry of his brothers 
and sisters in reception of this promise, he followed 
Mr. Carker out. > ; 

'' What ! " said Mr.! Carker^ who had beard this. 
** You have a bad father, have^roia ? " 

"No, sir! " returned Rob^ amazed. ^ There 
ain't a bNpiter por a kinder fadier going, than mine is." 

" Why dpti't you want to see him then ? " in- 
quired his patron. 

** There s such a difference between a fatho* and 
a n^other, sir," . said Rob, after ^teHng for a 
moiAent. " He cpuUb't hardly beUeve yet that I 
was going to do better — thbu^ I know heM try to 
— but a mojkher— t>r^ always believes what's good, 
sirf at least I know, my mother, does, God bless 
her!" 

Mr. Parker's mouth expanded, but he said no 
more until, he was mounted on hit horse, and had 
dismissed the man who held it, w&^, looking down 
from the saddle. sfbeadily into the attentive and watch- 
ful face of the boy, he said : 

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DOBffBBY AND SON S7 

<* You'll come to me to-morrow morning, and 
you shall be «hown trhere that did gentleman lives ; 
that old gentleman who was with me this mofniag ; 
where you are gobg, as you heard me Kiy/' 

" Yes, sir," returned Roh. 

** I hare a great interest in that <Ad gentleman, 
and in serving him, ^you serve^- me^ boy, do you 
understand ? Well/' he added, interrupting him, 
for he saw his round face brighten ' when lie was 
uAd that: **1 see you doj I want to know all 
about that old genUeman, and h6w he goes on from 
day to day — ^for I am anxious to be of service to 
him — and especially who cdmes there to see him. 
Do you understand ? " 

Rob nodded his steadfast face, and ^iid << Ye6, 
sir/' again. . • = - • * 

<< I should like to know that he ha^ fnends who 
arc attentive to him, and thai; they don't desert him 
— i-for he lives very much alone now, poor fellow ; 
but that they are fc»id of him, and of his nephew who 
has gone abroad, l^ere is a very young lady who 
may perhaps come to see* him. I want particularly 
to know all about ^(tfr." 

" I'll take care, ttr;" said the boy. 

** And take' care^'' return^ his patron, bending 
forward to advance \a» grinning face closer to the 
boy's, and pat him on the shouldet' with the handle 
of hisixdiip: <^take care' you talk about- affairs of 
mine ta nobody imt me." 

"To nobody in the world, sir,'* replied Rob, 
shaking' hts. head. -- • . 

" Neidier there,'* said Mr; Carker,^ pointing to 
the piace they had jdst kft, « nor anywhere else. 
I'll try how true and grateful you can be. I'll prove 
you! " Making this, by his display of ieeth and 

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38 DOBCBEY ANO SON 

by the action of his head, as much a threat as a 
pronuse^ he turned from Ro(>'8 eyes, which were 
nailed upon him a« if he h$d won the boy by a 
charm, body and soul, and rode away. But again 
becoming conscious, after trotting a short cUstazice, 
.that his devoted henchmmv girt as before, >was 
yieldii^ him the same attendance^ to the ^eat amuse- 
ment of sundry spectators, he feined up, and ordered 
him oC To insure his obedience, he. turned in the 
saddle and walched him as he retked. It was 
curious to see that e?en then Rob could not keep 
his eyes wholly averted from his patron's fac^ but, 
constantly turning and turning again to Jk>Qk after 
him, involved himself in a tempest of buflfetings and 
jostlings from the other paasengei^a in the street i of 
which, in the pursuit of the one paramount idea^ he 
was nerffictly heedless, . 

Mr. Carkey the Manager rode on at a foot pan^e, 
with the easy. air of one who had performed all the 
business of the day in a satisfactory manner, and got 
it comfortably off his mind. Complacent and afEible 
as man could be, Mr. C^ker ]Hclwd his way along 
the streets and hummed a soft tune as he went. He 
seemed to purr : he was so glad. 

And in some sort, Mr. Carker* in his fancy^ basked 
upon a hearth, too. Coiled up snugly at certain 
feet, he wai ready for a ^ingy or for a tear, or £br 
a scratch, or for a velvet touch, as the humour took 
him and occasion served. Was .there any bird in a 
cage, that camis in for a share of his regards? 

"A very young lady I " thought. Mr. Carker the 
Manager, through his ^ song. ^^Ay^ whien I saw 
her last, she was a littk child. With dark eyes 
and ih^ir, I recoUect, atd a good face ; » very good 
face I I dare say she's. pretty.'' ; 

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D0MBSY AMD SON 3^ 

More affaUe : and -pleasant yet, ai^d humming his 
song UBdl his many teeth vibrated to it, Mr. Carkicr 
picked bis way along, and turned at last: into the 
shady street where Mr. Dmnfoey's house' stood. He 
had been so busy, wuuting webs round good fitces, 
and obsenring Uiem with meshes, that he hardly 
thought of b&Ht^ 'at diis point of his ride,' imtil-, 
glancing do^^m the cold p^rspectit^ of tall houses, Ire 
reined in his horse quicldy within a few yards of 
the door. But to explain why Mr. Carker reined 
it! his horse qnickly, and what he looked at 'in no 
small swftriflei a few digressive' words &re net^ssaryi 

Mr. Toots, emanci|>a^ from the Blimber thral-^ 
dom and coming' into the possession of a certain 
portiob of his worldly Hi^tSi,><*whi{ih,'* as he had 
been ^otit, duriiig h(s>la6t half-year's probation, to 
communicate to Mr. Feeder <<very evening as a neW 
discovery, ^the execntors couldn't keep faim' out 
of," had applied himself,' with great diligeik:^, to the 
science of Life. Fved with a noble emulation «6 
pursue a briltiant and^distiilgviAhed eareer, Mr. Toots 
had iiimished a'choi<^e set of apartments ; had es** 
tablished among them a sporting bower, embellished 
wi^ the pohraits of winning horses, in which he 
took ^o particle of interest; and a divah, which 
made him poorly. In this delicious^ abode, Mr. 
Toots deiK>ted' himself to the cultivation dt' those 
gentle arts which Vefine and humanize existence, 
hi» chief ihstrucior in which was aii intere^ng 
character called the Game Chicken^ Who was idways 
to be heard of at the bar of the Black- Badger^ wore 
a shaggy white grefeticdat in the warniest weather, 
and knocked Mr. Toots about th^ head three^ times 
a week, for the small consideration of ten and inn 
per visit, i • 

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40 DOMBBY AND SON 

The G;^e Chicken, who waa quite the Apollo 
of Mr. Toots^s Pantheon, had introduced to him a 
marker who taught, billiards, a Life Guard who 
taught fenciog,. a job-io^er. Who taught ^ridiiifg, a 
Cornish., gentleman who waa up to anything in the 
athletic Ime, and ^wo or jhre^ other fi-i^$ cchi- 
necti^d not J^s^ intimately with the £ae. arts* Uiider 
whpse apspicea.JMr*. Toqta could hardly .fail to im- 
prove .apace,, aod under wnose tuition he went to 
work^ 

But however it came about^ it came to patiB, even 
while these, gentleman, had the gloss of nOiVjelty upon 
themi that Mr. Toots felt» he .didn't knOw bow, 
unsettled and uneasiy. !!rhei^.werQ husks Jn im 
com, that even Game Clbkkeni wouldn't peck up ; 
gloomy gianu in his leisure;, tl^gt eveo Grfime 
Chickens ^rovldn't knock dPWPi : Nothing aeemed 
to do Mr, Toobtf so much good aa ince^antly leaving 
cards at Mr. Dombey's dopr. . No tax<-gad]^er io 
the British dominipi^s — that wider spread territory on 
which the sun never pets, and where the tax-gatherer 
never goes to bed — ^was more, regular a^d peraever- 
ing in his calls thap Mr. Toots* 

Mr* Toots never went u|^ stairs ; and always per- 
formed the aame ceremonies, riqhly dressed |or the 
piM^pose* at the. hall door. 

" Oil J Good morning ! " would be Mr. Toots's 
first remark to the servant. *< For Mr. I)ombey," 
would be Mr* Toots's ne:i^t remark* as he banded in 
a card. *^ For Miss Donibey,r would be his. next, 
as he handed in another. 

Mr. Toots would thent/turn .round; 48' if to go 
away r. but the man knew him by this time, a^d 
knew he wouldn't. . 

" Oh, I beg your pardon," Mr. Toots would say. 

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'D0MBET AND SON 41 

as if a thought had^ suddenly descended on him. 
** Is the young wDman at homB ? '' 

The man would rather think she was^ but wouldn't 
quite know. Then he woiidd ring a bell that rang 
up Btairs^and would look up the statrcaae, and would 
sayy.yes she *Ufar at home^ and was coming down. 
Thien Miss Nipper would appear, add the man would 
retire. .. >: ■• 

*^ Oh I How dfi do ? " Mr. Toote would say, 
with a chaickle and. a.blush.^' 

Susan would/ thank hip, and 6ay she was' vety 
well. 

<<How'6 Dtogehes going on?" would be Mr. 
Toots's secosd interrogation. 

Very well indeed Miss FtertincC was fonder 
and faiAer of him eyeiry day. Mr. Toots was «ure 
to hail this with a bursdof chuckles,, like the open- 
ing'of a botde^of some effervescent beverage^ 

" Mtsar Florence is: quite well^ air/' Susan would 
add.' r 

^ Oh, ill's of no consequitoce,. thank'ee," was- thie 
inTantable reply of Mr. Toots ; ' and when he had 
said 60, he alway& went away very ^st. 

Now it is certain that' Mr. Toots had a filmy 
something in his mind, whioh Jed him to conclude 
that if he could aspire. successfully^' in the fulness oi 
time, to the hand of Florence, he would be fortunate 
and blest*. It is certaia that -Mr. Toots, by some 
remote and roundabout road, had got to that pointy 
and that- there he made .a stand. His heart was 
wounded; he n^as touched; he was in lore* He 
had made a desperate 'attempt, one night, and had 
sat up all night for the purpose, to wnte an acrostic 
on Florence, which a^ected him to tearsi in the 
conception. But he never proceeded in: the execu- 

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42 OOMBEY AND BON 

tkm further than the words ^* For when I gaze," — 
the flow of imaginattttn in which < he had previously 
written down the initial letters of the odier seven 
lines, deserting him at that points > 

Beyond . devising that Tery artfvd and politic 
measure of leaving a card for Mr. Dombey daily, 
the brain of Mu Toots had- not worked much in 
reference to the subject that held his feelings prisoner. 
But deep consideration at length assured Mr; Toots 
that an important step to gain, was, the conciliation 
of Miss Susan Nipper, ^preparatory to givsng her 
some inkling of his state of mind. 

' A little light and piayfiii gallantry towards this 
lady seemed the means to employ in that early 
chapter of the history, for wihning her to his in- 
terests. . Not being able quite to make up bis mind 
about it, he consulted the Chicken^ — ^without taking 
that gentleman into his confidence ; merely inform- 
iiig him that a friend: in Yorkshire had -written to 
him (Mr. Toots) for his opinion on such a question. 
The Chicken replying that his opinion alwayit was, 
" Go in and win," and further, " When your roan's 
before you and your work cut out, go in and do it," 
Mr. Toots considered thi8> a figurative way of sup- 
porting his own vieiw of - the case, and heroically 
resolved to kiss Miss Nipper next day* 

Upon the next day, therefore, Mr. Toote, putting 
into requisition sonie of the greatest tnarvels that 
Burgess and Co. had ever turned out, went off to 
Mr» Dombey^s upon this design. But his > heart 
failed him. so much as he iapjMroachedthe scene of 
actioo,< that, although he arrived on the ground at 
three o'clock in the afternoon^ it was iix before he 
knocked at the doorJ 

Everything happened; as usual, down to the point 

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DOMBEY 4LN0 SON 43 

where Sasan said her young mistress was wellyjuid 
Mr. Toots said it was of no consequence. To 
her amazementy Mr. Toots, instead of going off, 
like a rocket^ after that observation, lingered and 
chuckled.. 

<f Perhaps you'd like to walk up stairs, sir ? " said 
Susan. . ^ 

«« Well, I think I will come in ! '' said Mr. Toots. 

But instead of walkmg up stairs^ the bold Toots 
made an awkward plunge at Susan when the door 
was shut, and embracing that fair creatuce, kissed 
her on the cheek«' 

. ** Go along with you i " cried Susan, " or I'll 
tear your! eyes out." 

<« Just another ! " said Mr. Toots. 

** Go along linth you \ " exclaimed Susan, giving 
him a push.:. << Innocents like you,, too ! Who'll 
begin next ! .Go along^ sir ! " 

Susan was not in any serious strait, for she could 
hardly speak for laughing; but Diogenes^ on the 
staircase, hearing a rustling against the wall, and a 
shufBihg of feet, and seeing through the bannisters 
that there was some contention going on, and f(»etgn 
invasion in the house, formed a different opinion, 
dashed down to the rescue, and in the twmkling of 
an eye had Mr. Toots by the. leg. 

Susan screamed, laughed, opened the 8treet-*door, 
and ran down stairs ; the bold Toots tumbled stag- 
gering out into the^street, with Diogenes holding on 
to one leg of his pantaloon/^ as if Burgess • and Co. 
were his cooks, and had provided that dainty morsel 
for his holiday entertainment 4 Diogenes shaken off, 
rolled over and over in the dust,igot up again, whirled 
round the giddy Toots and snapped at him : and all 
this turmoil, Mr. Carker^ reining up his horse and 

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44 OOBflBBV AND SON 

sktiog at a iittle distancey saw, tb his amazement, 
issue from the stately house of Mr. Dombey. 

Mr. Carker remained watching the discomfited 
Toots, when Diogenes >wa8 called iup' and the door 
shut : and while that gentleman, taking refuge in a 
doorway near at band,, bound u)p the torn leg of his 
pantaloons with a costly silk handkerchief that. had 
fyptM. port of his expeosiTe outfit for theidvehturis. 

<<I beg your pardon, sir,'' «2iid^ Mr. Carker, 
riding up, with his most propitiatory smile. <U 
hope you are not hurt?'* ^ * .: 

<* Oh no, thank you," replied Mh Toots, raising 
his Hushed face, '^^ it's of no consequence/' Mr. 
Toots would have signified, if he could, that he 
liked it very much. 

•> If. the dog's teeth have entered the leg, sir-*--*-" 
began Carker; with a display of his own. 

" No, thank you," said. Mr; Tooti, '^it's all quite 
right* It's very corafbrtable, thank you.'' 

** I have the pleasure of knowing Mr. Dombey," 
observed Carker. 

** Have you though ? " rejoined the 4)lushing 
Toots; 

^ And you will allow me, perhaps, to apologise, 
in \as absence," said Mr. Carker, taking off kts hat, 
** for such a misadventure, and to wonder how it 
can possibly have happened." 

Mr. Toots is so much gratified by this politeness, 
and the lucky chance of making friends with a friend 
of 'Mr. Dombey, that he pulls out hie card-case, 
which he never loses an opportunity of usingvand 
hands his name and address to Mr. Carker: who 
respobds to that cpurfeesy by giving him his own, 
and with that they part. 

As Mr. Carker picks his way so* softly past the 

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DOMBEY AND SON 4S 

house, glanciitg up at the windows, and trying to 
make out the pensive. face behind the curtain looking 
at the children opposite, the rough head of Diogenes 
comes clamberinjg up close by it,, and the dog, re- 
gardless of all soothing, barks and growls, and makes 
at him from that height, as if he. would spring down 
and tear Inm limb from limb. ' 

Well spoken^ Dr; so near youc mistress ! Another, 
and another with your head up, your eyes flashing, 
and your vexed mouth worrying itself, for want d[ 
him ! Another, as he picks his way along ! You 
have a good scenty Di,— -cats, boy, cats 1 



Chapter XXIII 

rLORENCK SOLITART, AND THE MIDSHIFMAN MYSTflillOnS 

FLORENCE lived alone in the great dreary 
house, and day succeeded day, and still she 
lived akme; and the blank walls looked, down upon 
her wkh a vacant stare^ as .if they h^A a Gorgon- 
like mind to stare her youth and beauty into stone. 

No magic dwelling-place in magic. story, shut up 
in the heart of a thick wood» was ever more solitary 
and deserted to the fancy^ than was her father's 
mansion in its »grim reality, as: it stood Ig^B^ering on 
the stieet ; alwdys by x^ght, when lights were shining 
fcom.neig^bouisi]^ nHbdows, a blot, upon its scanty 
lightness; always by day^ a bowjk upon: its never- 
smiling 6ce. . , ' 

Tliaie were not two dragon sentries keeping ward 
before the gate of this abode^ as in magic |eg^ are 
usually Ibimd on duty ovpr the jwrbnged innocence 

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46 DOMBBY AND SON 

imprisoned; but besides a glowerii^ visage, with 
its thin lips parted Wickedly, that surveyed all 
comers from above the archway of the door, there 
was a monstrous £intasy of ruaty iron curling and 
twisting like a petrifaction of an arbour over the 
threshold, budding in spikes aqd corkscrew points, 
and bearing, one on either side, two onmious ex- 
tinguishers, that seemed to say, *>Who enter here, 
leave light behind!" There were 'no talismanic 
characters engraven on the portal^ but the house was 
now so neglected in apppearance, that bo3rs' chalked 
the railings 'and the pavement — particukrly round 
the corner where the side wall was — and drew ghosts 
on the stable door ; and being sometimes driven off 
by Mr. Towlinson, made portraits of him, in return, 
with his ears grpwing o)it horizontally from under 
his hat. Noise edaicd to be, witUin the shadow of 
the roof. The brass band .that came into the street 
once a week, in the morning, never brayed a note 
in at those windows ; but' all such company, doWn 
to a poor little piping organ >of Weak^ intellect, with 
ab imbecile party of automatoin dancers, wahssing in 
and out at feeding doors, fell off fv&m it wkk^ one 
accbrd, and shunned it as- a hopektes place. 

The spell upon it was more wasting than the spell 
that used to set enchanted hoases' sleeping once upon 
a time, but left their waking freshness unimpaired. 
The passive' desdiation of disuse was- everywiiere 
silently manifest abdut it. Within dobbs, curtains, 
drooping heavily, lost their old' H^s and shapes, 
and hung lik& cumbrous ^tiltL ;Hee«eombs of fiffni- 
ture, still piled and covered up, shrank like imprisoned 
and forgotten men, and changed ittisensibiy.' Miirors 
were dim as with the bpeath of yeafv. - j^attems of 
caipetflf Med and becaihd perplexed and faiiht, tike 

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DOMBEY AND SON 47 

the memory of those years' trifling incidents* Boards, 
starting at unwonted fooistepei creaked and shook* 
Keys rusted in the locks of doors. D^mp started 
on the walls, ajid as the stains came out, the pictures 
seemed to go in and secrete themselves. Mildew 
aixi mould began to lurk in closets. Fungus trees 
grew ki coniccs. of the cellars* Dust accumulated, 
nobody knew whence nor how ; spiders, moths, and 
grubs were heard of etery day. An exploratory 
black-beetle now and (hen .was found immovable 
upon the stairs, or in- an upper room, as wondering 
how he got there. Rats began to squeak and scuffle 
in the night Ume, through dark galleries they mined 
behind the panelling. 

The dreary magnificence of the state rooms^ seen 
imperfectly by the doubdVd light adtoitted through 
closed shutters, would. have answered well enough 
for an enchanted abode. Such alb the tartush^ pdws 
of gilded lioD&, stealthily., put out from bea^ath their 
wrs^pers ; the marble linewa^nts of busts on pedes- 
tals, fearfully revealing themselves thfiough veils ;: 
the cloqks that never told the. time, or, if wound up 
by any chance, told it wDcjngy.and struck : unearthly 
numbers, which are not upon the. dial ; the accidental 
tinklings among the pendent lUstiles, morie startling 
than alarm-bells; the softened sounds and iaggsu'd 
air that m^de their way among thes^ objectts, and 
a phantom crowd of others^ -shrouded alid hooded, 
and made spect|!al of ^ape. - But, b^esides, there was 
the greait staircase, w^ere^;the. lord ^> the pj^pe fi^ 
rarely set.his foot^and by wtich his little ohild had;, 
gone tt^'lo Heaven*// Ther^ were oth^r .stair ca9es 
and passagie^ where oo.fNOiie wont for weeks together (.. 
there were. two-^cWsed rooms associated wii^ deadr 
members oC the fannly, and with whispeaced recol* 



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48 CK>MB£Y AND SON 

lections of them ; and to' all the honse bat Florence, 
thereivasa gentle figure moving liirough the solitude 
and gloom, that gave to every lifeless thing u touch 
of present human interest and wonder* 

For Florence lived alone in die deserted house, 
and day su<^ceeded day, and still she lived alone, 
and the cold walls looked down upon her with a 
vacant stare^ as if they had a €rorgon-Hke mind to 
stare her youth and beauty into stone. 

The grass began to grow upon the roof, and in 
the crevices of the basement paving. A scaly 
crumbling vegetation sprouted round Uie window- 
sills. Fragments of mortar lost their hold upon the 
insides of the unused chimneys, and came dropping 
dowik The fwo trees widi the smoky trunks 
were blighted high up, and the withered branches 
dortrineered above the leaves. Through the whole 
building, white had turned yellow, yellow nearly 
black; and since the time when *he poor lady 
died, it had slowly become a dark gap' in the long 
monotonous street. ' 

But Florence bioo^ned there, like the king's fair 
daughter in the story. Her books, her music, and 
her daily teachers, were her only real eon^nions, 
Susan Nipper and 'Diogenes excepted t of whom 
the former, in het atdend»ice on the studies of her 
young mistress^ began to grow quite learned herself, 
while the latter, softened possibly by the same 
influences, would lay hia head upon the window- 
ledge, and pladdfy oipen ^nd lihut his eyes ^pon the 
street, all dirough a summer morning ; sometimes 
pricking up his head to look with great significance 
after 6om^ noisy dog in a dart, who wa« bdrkitkg his 
way along, and sometimes, with an exasperated and 
unaccountable recollection ofhi^'eitppitSsed enemy m 

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DOMBEY AND SON 49 

the neighbourhood, nishbg to the door, whence, 
after a deafening disturbance, he would come jogging 
back with a ridiculous complacency that belonged 
to him, and lay his jaw «)K>n the Irindow-ledge 
again, with the air 6f a dog who had done a public 
service. . p 

So Florence lived in her wilderness of a home, 
within the circle of her innocent pursuits and thoughts, 
and nothing harmed^ her* She could go d«iwn to 
her father's rooms now^ and think of him^ and suffer 
her loving healrt humUy to approach him, without 
fear of repulse. She could look upon the objects 
that had surrounded h&n in his sorrow, and Cbuld 
nestle near his chair, and not dread the glance that 
she so well remembered. She could render him 
such little tbkens of her duty and servide, as puuing 
everything in order for' him with her own hafids, 
binding little nosegays for his table, changing 'them 
as one by one they withered and he did not- come 
back, preparing something for hsm every day, and 
leaving some timid mark of her presence xlear his 
usual seat. To-^ay, it was a little paiiited stand for 
his watch ; to*morrow, she would be afraid to leave 
it, and would substitute some other trifle of her 
making not so likely to attract his eye. Waking in 
the nighty perhaps, she would trembde at the thought 
of his coming home and angrily rejecting it, sand 
would hurry down vidth slippered feet and quickly 
beatitig heart, and bring it away. At another time, 
she would only lay her face upon his desk,^ And l^ve 
a kiss there, and a tear. - j . 

Still no one ktiew of this.^ Unless thii househohl 
found it out v<rhen she was not there-^and they all 
held Mr; Dombey • s rooms in awe-^it was as deep 
a secret in her breast as what had gone before it. 

II. E 

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so DOMBEY AND SON 

Florence stole into those roofiis at twilight^ early in 
the moroiBgy and at times when meals were served 
down stairs. And although they were in e?ery 
nook the better and the brighter for her care, she 
entered and passed out as <|uietly as any sunbeam, 
excepting that she left her light behind. 

Shadowy company attended Florence np and 
down the echoing house,, and sat with her in the 
dismantled rooms. A» if her. life were an enchanted 
vision, there arase out of her solitude roimstering 
thoughts, that made it fanciful and unreaL She 
imagined so<iften what, her hfe would have been if 
her father .could have loved her and she had been 
a favourite child^ that sometimes^ for the moment, 
she almost beHeved it was so, and» borne on by the 
current of that. pensive ficti^^ seemed to remember 
how they had watched. her brother. in his grave 
together; how they had freely shared, his heart 
between them ; how they wece united in the dear 
remembrance of hatti; how they, often spoke about 
him yet ; and hef kind father, looking at her gently, 
told her of their common hope, -and trust, in God. 
At other times she pictured to herself her mother 
yet alive* And oh the hapjHness of falling on her 
neck, and clinging to her with the love, and con- 
fidence of all her soul ! And oh the desolation of 
the solitary house again^ with evening ..qoming on, 
and no one..there!. 

But. there was one thought, scarcely shaped out 
to hei*self, yet fervent and. strong within her, that 
upheld Florence when she strove and filled her true 
young heart, so sorely tried, with constancy of 
purpose. Into her mind, as into all others con- 
tending with the great afBiction of our mortal nature, 
there had stolen solemn wonderings and hopes. 

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DOMBEY AND SON 51 

arising in the (tim world beyond the present life^ 
and murmuring, like faint niiisic» of recognition in 
the far ofF land between her brother and her mothers 
of some present conacioiHness in both of her : some 
love smd commiseration km her: and some know- 
ledge of her 88 she went her way upon the eartlu 
It was a soothing coneolation to Floc^ihioe to giTe 
shelter to these thoughts, until one day^ — it was soon 
after she had last seen her fitther in his own room, 
late at night — the &ncy cane npon her, that^ in 
weeping for his aliesated heart, she might stir the 
spirita of the dead against him« Wild, weak, child- 
ish, as it may ha^e beto to think so, and to tremble 
at the half-formed thought, it was the impulae of 
her loving nature; and from that hour Florence 
stroTe against the cruet wound in her breast, knd 
tried to think of him whose hand had made it only 
with h<^. ./ ■ 

Her father did not know-— she held to it from 
that tim^-^how much sheiioTed hioi. She was very 
young, and had no mother, si^ 1^ never learned^ 
by some fault or misfortane^how to express to him 
that she loved him. She would be. patient, and 
would try to gain that art in time, and win him' to 
a better knowledge of his only child. 

This became ^ purpose oif her life. The morn- 
ing sun shone down upon the faded house, and found 
the resolution bright and fresh within the bosom of 
its solitary mistress. 'Through all the duties of the 
day, it animated her ^ for Florence hoped that the 
more she k^iew^ and the more accomplished she 
became, the more £^ he would be when he came 
to know and like her. Sometimes she wondered^ 
with a swelling heart and rising tear, whether she 
was proficient eitot^h in anything to surprise him 

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5» DOMBBY AND SON 

wlien they should become compankMis. Somecimefl 
she tried to think if there were any kind of know- 
ledge that would bespeak his interest more readily 
than another. Always: at her books, her music^ 
and h^r work: in her morning walks, and in her 
nightly prayers : she had her engrossing aim in view* 
Strimge study for a child, to learn the road to a 
hard parent's heart ! 

There were many careless, loungers through the 
street, as the summer- evening deepened into night, 
who glanced across the road at the sombre house, 
and saw the youtli^ figure at the window, such a 
contrast to it, looking upward at the stars as they 
began to shine, who would have slept the worse if 
they had known on what design she mused so slead- 
fiuitly. The rc^Mitation of the mansion as a haunted 
house, would \ not have been the gayer with some 
humble dwellers elsewhere, who were struck by its 
external gloom in passing and repassing on their 
daily avocations, and so named it, if they could have 
cead its story inithe darkening face. But Florence 
held her sacred purpose, unsuspected and unaided : 
and studied ody how to bring her father to the 
understanding that she loved him, and made no 
appeal agdnst him in any wandering thought. 

Thus Florence lived alone in the deserted house, 
and day. succeeded dayy'aad still she lived alone, 
and the monotonous mils looked down upon her 
with a stare, as if they had a Gorgon-ltke intent to 
stare her youth and beauty into stohew 

Susan Nipper stood opposite' to her young mistress 
one monuBg, aa- she .^slded and sealed -a note she 
had been wdting: and showed in. her looks an 
approving knowledge of its contents. . 

^* Better late than never, dear Miss .Floy," said 

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DOMBEY AND SON 53 

Susan, ** and I do say, that even a visit to them old 
Sketdeses will be a Godsend." 

**It 18 very good of Sir Barnet and Lady 
Skettles, Susan," retorned Florence, with > a mild 
correction of that young lady's familiar mention of 
the family in question, ** to repeat their invitation so 
kindly." 

Miss Nipper, who was perhaps the most thorough- 
going paj^tah pn thb ^ce of the earth, and who 
carried her partisanship into all matters great' or 
small, and perpetually waged war with it against 
society, screwed up her 1^ and shook her head, as 
a protest against any recognition of disinterestedness 
in the Skcttleses^ and a plea in bar that they would 
have valuable consideration for their kindiiesa,: in the 
company of Florence* ■ >' 

"They know what they're about,! if ever'peopJe 
did," murmured Miss Nipper^ drawic^ in her breath, 
<* oh ! trust-them Sketdeses kati Oxat 1 " 

"I am not very anxioius to go* to Fulham, Susan, 
I confess," -said Florence thdu^fully ; ** but it will 
be right to go^ I think it will be better." 

"Much better," interposed' Susan, with another 
emphatic shake of her head^ 

"And so," said. Fiorencc, "though I would 
prefer to haii[e gone when, there was no one khere^ 
instead of in this vacation time, when it^sdems there 
are aome young people staying i& the house, I have 
thankfully said yes." . v * 

"TFor which / *^y. Miss Fioy^ Qh be. jo^ftilt " 
returned Susan. "Ah I h-^ ! " 

This last ejaculation, with iwhich Mis^ Nipper 
frequently wound .up a sentence^ at about that/ epoch 
of time, wi98^\qyposed. below the level of 'the hall -to 
have a generalfeferenoe/to Mr. Dombey^/andbtp'be 



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54 JXMMBEY AND SON 

expressive of a yearaing in Miss Nipper to favour 
that gentleman with a piece of her mind. But she 
never explained it ; and it hski, in consequence, the 
charm of mystery^ in additicm to the advantage of 
the sharpest expression. 

^How long it is before ve haw any news of 
Walter, Susan ! '' observed Florence, after a moment's 
silence. 

'^ Long. indeed. Miss Floy!.'' replied her maid. 
^ And Perck said, when -he came just now to see for 
letters^-nbutwhat signifies what '&« says ! " exclaimed 
Susan, reddening and breaking oft. ** Much he 
knows about it ! '' 

Florence raised- her -^ eyes qmckiy/'anda flush 
ovempread her facewi 

" If I hadn't ! " said Susan Nipper, evidently 
struggling with some latent amdety and alarm, and 
looking 1^1 at her young mistress, while endeavour- 
ing to work herself inio a state of reseittment with 
the unoffending Mr. Perches isnagei ^ if I Hadn't 
more manliness than, that insipidest bf his sex, I'd 
never take .pride in thy hair again, but torn it up 
behind my ears, and wear poarse cape, withodb a bit 
of border, until death relieved me from my kisignifi- 
cancei I may not be a Amazon^ Miss Fioy, and 
wouldn't so demean myself by sucb disfigurement, but 
anyways I'mnot a giver up» I hope." :r 

*« Give up ! What ? " cried Florence, with a face 
of terror. 

*^W1^, nothing, miss,'* said "Susan. ^G^tkxl 
gracious, nothing f It'« only that wet tcurl-paper of 
a man; Perbh, that any -one might alniost make away 
with, with a:toiich, and reaUy it wddd be a blessed 
event for-uir parties if some* one fBro/^takepity on 
him^ ' atid would have. Hbk goodness i " ^.; 

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DOMBBY AND SON 5$ 

** IDoes he give up the ship, Susan ? " inquhvd 
Florence, very pale. 

** No, miB^'' retttrned Susan, ** I should like to 
see faim make so beid as to do it to 'my face ! No, 
missy but he goes on about some bothering ginger 
that Mr. Waher was to send to Mrs. Perch, and 
shakes has dismal head, and says he hopes it may be 
coining; anyhov, he says, it can't come now in 
time for the intended occasiito, but may do for next, 
whM^ really,'' said Miss Nipper, with aggravated 
scorn, ^'puts me out of patience with the man, for 
though I can bear a great deal, I am not a camel, 
neither am J," added Susan, after a moment's con- 
aideratioii, ^if I know, myself, a <|remedary 
neitber." 

<«What else do^s he say, Susan?" inquired 
Florence, earnestly. •• Won't you vA\ me ? " 

«« As if I wouldn't tell you anything, Miss Floy, 
and c v e rytlti ng I " said Susan. '*«Why, miss, he 
says that th«^ begins to be a general talk about the 
ship, and that they have never had a ship on that 
voyage half so loi^ unheard of, and that the cap- 
tain^sr wife was at the o/fice y^terday, and seemed a 
little put out about it, but any one could say that, we 
knew nearly that before.'^ ■ 

«« I must visit Waiter's uiiclc," said Florence, 
hurriedly, ••before I' leave home. I will go and see 
him this monling. Let us w«dk there, directly, 
Susaa." 

Miss Nipper having nothing fo iffge against the 
inoposal, but bein^ perfectly ^acquiescent,' they were 
soon equipped, and in the streets, and on their way 
towards the little Midshipmah."* 

The state of 'mind in which poor Walter had gone 
to Captam Ctttle's, on the day when Bfojky the 

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56 DOME^Y AND SON 

broker came into possession, and when there seemed 
to him to be an execution in the Tery steeples, was 
pretty much the sanxe as that in which Florence now 
took her way to.Uncle Sol's ; witii tht« difference, that 
Florence suff^ed the added pain of thinking that she 
had been» perhaps, this- innocent occasion of involT- 
ing Walter in peril, and all to whom he was dear, 
her«elf included, in an agony of suspense; For the 
rest, uncertainty and danger seenwd written upon 
evca'ything. The weathercocks on spires and house- 
tops were mysterious -with hint» of stormy wind^ and 
pointed, like so mlny ghostly fingers, out to danger- 
ous seafi where fragmenta of great wrecks were 
drifting 'perhaps^ and helpless men were rocked upon 
them into a sleep as deep as the un&thomable waters. 
When Florcff^oe came into the City^ and passed 
gentlemen who were talking 'together, she dreaded to 
^ar ) thi^in speaking of the jhlp, and spying k 'Was 
lost, Pi9turc^ and prints of vessels %hting with 
the rolling waves filled ' her with aiUrm. The 
smoke and clouds^ though moving gently, moved too 
fast (fx h^r apfxr^nsions^ and niade her fear 
there was a tempest blowing at that moment on 
the ocean. 

Susan Nipper may or m&y not have been affected 
simil^ly, bivt having her attentimi much -engaged in 
struggles with boys, whenever there, was any press of 
.peopler~for> .betiiii9eii that grade &i human kind and 
herself, there was some natural animosity that invari- 
ably broke out, whenev«f they ..came together — it 
. would s^^ that she had qotmuch leisure on the road 
for intelleQtual operations. 

Arriving in good, time abreast of the Wooden 
Midshiipnian tfi .the .op|w»site side of the t way, and 
waiting, for an opportunity to crbss ihfe slire^ they 

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DOMBBY AND SON $7 

were a little eurprised at first to see, at the instru- 
ment-maker's door, a round-headed lad, with his 
chubby face addressed towards the sky, who, as diey 
looked at him, suddenly thrust into his capacious 
mouth two fingers of each hand, and with the assist- 
ance of. that machinery whistled, with astonishing 
shrillness, to some pigeons at a considerable eleration 
in the air. 

<^ Mrs.. Richards's eldest, miss!" s^id Susan, 
"and the worrit of Mrs. Richards's life ! " 

As Polly had been to tell Florence of the reslis- 
citated prospects of her son and heir, Florence was 
prepared for the meeting : so, a favourabld moment 
preaenting itself, they both hastened across, without 
any further contemplation of Mrs. Richard^s bane. 
That sporting character, unconscious of their approach, 
again whistled with his utmost might, and then yelled 
in a rapture of excitement, ** Strays I Whoo-oop ! 
Strays ! " which identification had such an effect 
upon; the coascience-strick^ pigeons, that instead of 
goiag direct ta $ome town in the Nicxth of England^ 
as appeared to have :been their original intention, 
they began to wheel and falter; whereupon Mrs. 
Richards's first-bom pierced them with another 
whistle, and again yelled, in a voice that rose above 
the turmoil of.the street, ** Strays I Whoo«oop ! 
Strays J" 

From this transport,, he iwas abruptly recalled to 
terrestrial objects, by a poke from Miss Nipper, 
which sent him into the shop.- 

** Is this the way you show your penitence, when 
Mrs. Richards has'^beeiii -fretting for you months 
and months!" said Susan, following the poke. 
"Where's Mr. GiUs?" • - . 

Rob,, .who smooth^ his first rejbdllioiis glance at 

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58 DOMBEY AND SON 

Mi»8 Nipper when he • saw Florence following, pat 
bis knuckles to' his hair, in honour of the latter, smd 
said to the former, that Mr. Gills was out. 

*' Fetch him home,'' said Miss Nipper, with 
authority, ** and say that my young lady'ffhere." 

** I don't know where he's gone," said Rob. 

^Is tUfot your penitence?" cried Susan, widi 
stinging sharpness. 

" Why how can I go and fetch bim when I don't 
know where to go ? " whimpered the baited Rob. 
*• How can yon be so unreasonable ? " 

** Did Mr. Gills say when he shonld be home ? " 
asked Florence. 

** Yes, miss," replied Rob, with another applica- 
tion of his knuckles to hie hair. ** He«aid he should 
be home early in the afternoon ; m about a couple of 
hours from now, miss." i 

*♦ Is he very anxious ab6ut his nephew ? " inquired I 
Susan.' ' 

"Yes, miss," returned' Rob, preferring to address 
htmsj^lf to FldrenTce and sli^Mihg Nipper ; *' 1 should 
Mxy he was, very much 8(k He ain't indoors, miss, 
not a quarter of an hoUr together. He c^'t setde 
in one place five niinirtesi He goes about, like a — I 
juBt like a stray,''' tsad Rob^ stopping to get a glimpse 
of the pigeons through the Imd6w^ and checking 
himself, with his fingers half-way to his mouth, on 
the v^rge of another whisde. I 

**Do yon know a -'friend of • Mr; Gills, called 
Captain Cutde? " inquired Flctfence, after a moment's 
reflection. . ' i 

. ** Himf with a hook, tniss ? ^' rejoined Rob, with 
an illustratiTe twist of r hi» left hand! *< Yes, miss, i 
He was here the day before yesterday." ^^-^^ i 

«* Has he libt been here since'? " askecf Susa^^^^ 

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DOMBEY AND SON 59 

** No, miMy" returned Rob, still addressing his 
reply to Florence. 

** Periiaps Walter's uncle has gone there, Susan,'' 
observed FloreiK:e, turning to her. 

**To Captain Cuttle's, miss ? " interposed Rob, 
*^ no, he^s 'not gone there, miss. Because he left 
particdar word that if Captam Cuttk called, I should 
tell him how surprised he was, not to have seen htm 
yesterday, and should make him «top till he came 
back." ' ; 

" Do you know where Captain Cuttle lives ? " 
asked Florence. • 

Rob replied in d&e a/Hrmadve, and turning to a 
greasy parchment book on the shop desk, read the 
address aloud. 

Florence bgun turned to her maid and took 
counsel widi her- in a low^ voice, while Rob the 
round-eyed, mindfult of his patron's ' secret charge, 
looked on and listened. Florence pTopdsed that they 
should go to Captain Cuttle's houase ; hear from his 
own H^^'What he thought of the absence ^)f aiiy 
tidings of the Son smd Heir ; and bring him, if they 
cottld^to coitifort Un<^le Sol; Susdn at first cfejected 
slightly, on the scot-e <^ distance; but a hackdey- 
coach bettng medtio&ed by her twistress, withdrew 
that opposit^i^ and gavci in her assedb.'^ TheEe were 
some minutes of disciissioti 'betweenthem hefovt they 
came to tliis eofik:lusloii, during' which^ the staring 
Rob paid close bttention to btith speakers^ and in^ined 
his ear to each by turns, as if he -were appointed 
arbitratbr of the argum^ts. 

In fine>, Rdb was d^pertehed for a cbach, the 
vi^tort keefong* sftxop 'to^anwhile; .and "when he 
brought it, dtey got itiito it, ICA^dflg wwd for 'Uncle 
Sol diat they w^uld= be sure to c& again, on their 

\ 

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6o DOMBEY AND SON 

way back. Rob having stared after the coach until 
it was as invisible as the pigeons had now become, sat 
down behind the desk with a most assiduous de- 
meanour ; and in order that he might forget nothing 
of what had transpired, made notes of it on various 
small scraps of paper, with a vast expenditure of ink. 
There was no dtoger of .these doduments betraying 
aay thing, if accidentally iott.; for long before a word 
was dry, it became as profotund a mystery U> Rob^ as 
if he had had no part whatever in its production. 

While he was yet busy with these labours, the 
hackney-coach, after encountering unheard-of diffi- 
culties from swivel-bridges, soft roads, impassable 
canals, caravans of casks, settlements -of scarlet-beans 
and little wash-houses, and many such obstacles 
abounding in that cofuntry, stopped at. the corner of 
Brig Place. Alighting here, Florence and Susan 
Nipper walked down the street, and sought out the 
abode of Captain Cuttle. 

It happened by etil chance to be one > of Mrs. 
MacStinger's great cleaning days. On tl^ese occa* 
sions, Mrs. Mac6tinger waa knocked up by the 
pcJiceman at a quarter before three in the morning, 
and; rarely succiunbed before twjelvc o'clock next 
night* The chief object of this institution appieared 
to be, that Mrs. MacStinger should movce ail the 
furniture .(into the back garden at early dawn, walk 
about the< houae in pattens all day> and move the 
furniture bapk ag^in after dark. : These ceremonies 
greatly fluttered those doves the y^oung. MacStingers, 
who were not only unable at isuch; times to find any 
resting-place for die #olefr of their feiH, but generally 
came>iti for a good :deal of fecking from the maternal 
•bird during the pr0gK9Ss of tb^ seilemnitieQ. 

At th^ momeitf. when Florence and Susan NippeL^- 



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DOMBEY AND SON 6i 

presented themselves at Mrs. MacStinger's door, 
that worthy but redoubtable female was in the act 
of conyeying Alexander MacStinger, aged two years 
and three months, along the passage for forcible 
deposidon in a sitting posture on the street pavement : 
Alexander being black in the face with holding his 
breath after punishmcot, add a cool paving'^stone 
being usually found to act as a powerful restorative 
in such cases. 

The feelings of Mrs. MacSdnger, as a woman and 
a mother, were outrs^ed by the look of pity for 
Alexander which she observed on Florence's face. 
Therefore, Mrs. MacStinger asserting those finest 
emotions of our nature, in preference to weakly 
graufying het curiosity, shook and buffeted Alex- 
ander, both before and during the application of the 
paving-stone, and took no further notice of .the 
strangers. 

<*I beg your pardon, ma'am,'' said Florence, 
when the child had found his breath again, and was 
using it. ** Is this Captain Cuttle's house i " 

<< No," said Mrs. MacSdnger. 

*^ Not Number Nine ? ** asked Florence, hesitate 
ing* 

** Who said it wasn't Number Nine ? " said Mrs. 
MacSdnger. 

Susan Nipper instandy struck in^ and begged to 
inquire what Mrl MacStinger meant by that^ and if 
she knew whom she was talking tb. 

Mrs. MacStinger in retort, looked at her all over. 
« What do you want with Captain Cutde, I should 
wish to know ? " said Mrs. MacStinger. 

** Should you ? Then I'm sorry that you won't 
be satisfied," returned Miss Nipper. 

«* Hush, Susan ! If you please ! " said Florence. 

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6z DOMBEY AND SON 

<*Perhapfi yoii can have the goodaesa to tell us 
where Captain Cattle liyesy ma'am, as he don't live 
here. 

**Who ftajs he don't live here?" retorted the 
implacable MacStinger. ** I said it wasn't Cap'en 
Cuttle's house— ^nd it ain't his hou8e*>*-and forbid it, 
that it ever should be his hoase-r-for Cap'en Cuttle 
don't know how to keep a house-^-and don't deserve 
to have a house — ^it's my house — and when I let the 
upper floor to. Cap'en Cu^e, oh Iido a thankless 
thing, and cast pearls before swine 1 " 

Mrs. MacStitiger pitched her voice for the upper 
windows in offering these remarks, and cracked off 
each clause sharply by itself as if from a rifle possess- 
ing an infinity of barrels. After the last shot^ the 
Captain's voice was heard to say in feeble remon- 
strance from his own room, ** Steady below I " 

" Since you want Cap'en Cuttle, there he ia ! '■' 
said Mrs. MacStinger, with am angry motion of her 
hand. On Florence making bold to' enter^ without 
any more parley^ and <m Susan- folloiving, Mrs* Mac- 
Stinger recommenced her pedestMan exercise in 
pattens, and Alexander MacStinger (still on the 
paving-stone), who had stopped in his crying to 
attend to the conversation, began to \(rail agaih, en- 
tertaining himself during that dismal performance, 
which was quite mechanical, with a general survey 
of the prospect, terminating in HtSe habkney-coach. 

The Captain in his own apartment was sitting with 
his hands in his pockets and his legs drawn upimder 
his chair, oh a very small desolate island, lying about 
midway in an ocean of' soap and water. The Cap" 
tain's windows had been cleaned, the walls- iiad been 
cleaned, the stove had been cleaned, and every thmg, 
the stove excepted, was wet, and shining with sofi 

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DaMBEY ANJO SON 63 

soap and sand : the smell of which drysaltery im- 
preg^ted tjbe air. In the midst of the dreary scene, 
the Captain, cast away upon his island, looked round 
on the waste of waters with a rueful countenance, and * 
seemed waiting for some friendly bark to come that 
way, and take him off. ^ i . 

But whei% the Captain, directbg his forlorn visage 
towards the door, saw Florence ^{ipear with her 
maid, no words can describe his astonishment. Mrs. 
Mac Stinger's eloquence having rendered all other 
sounds but impfxfecdy distinguishable, he had looked 
for no Tsapr visitor than the potboy or the milkman ; 
wherefore, when. Florence appeared, and coming to 
the confines of the island, put her hand in his, the 
Captain stood up, aghast,. a$ if he/ sup)>osed. her, for 
the moment, to be some young member of th^ Flying 
Dutchman's family* 

Instandy x^covering his self-possession, however^ 
the Captain's first care was to pla^ie her on dry land, 
which he h^pily accomplished,, with one motion of 
his arm. Issuing forth, then, 4ipon the main, Capuin 
Cuttle took Miss Nipper round the waist, and bore 
her to the island also* Captain Cuttle, then, with 
great respect and admiration, raised the hand of 
Florence to his lips, and standing, off a little (for the 
island was not large enough for three )» beamed on 
her from the soap and W4t£r like a new description 
of Triton* 

«< You are ama^ to see us,,;! am sure," said 
Flotreace, with a smile* . . 

Th^ inexpcesmbly gratifi<^d Captain kissed his hook 
in reply» and growled, as if a choice and delicate 
comf^iment were included in the words, *< Standby! 
Standby!" 

«* But I couldn't rest," said Florence, " without 

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64 DOM BEY AND SON 

coming to ask yoa what you think about dear Walter 
— ^who is my brother now — and whether there is 
anything to fear, and whether you will not go and 
console his poor unde every day, until we have some 
intelligence of him ? ** 

At these words Captain Cuttle, as by an involun- 
tary gesture, clapped his hand to his h^d^ on which 
the hard ghzed hat was not, and look^ discomfited. 

** Have you any fears for Walter's safety ? '' in- 
quired Florence, from whose face the Captain (so 
enraptured he was with it) could not take his eyes : 
while she, in her turn, looked earnestly at him, to be 
assured of the sincerity of his reply. 

^< No, Heart's Delight,'' said Captain Cuttle, <«I 
am not ^eanL Wal'r is a lad as'll go through a 
deal o' hard weather. Wal'r is a lad as'll bring as 
much success to that 'ere brig as a lad is capable on. 
Wal'r," said the Captain, his eyes glistening with 
the praise of his yo«ig friend, and his hook raised to 
announce a beautiful quotation, ** is what you may 
call a out'ard and visible sign of a in'ard and spirited 
grasp, and when found make a note of." 

Florence, who- did not quite understand this, 
though the Captain evidently tliought it full of miean- 
mg, and highly satis&ctory, mildly looked to him 
for something more. 

** I am not afeard, my Heart's Delight," resumed 
the Captain. ** There's been most uncommon bad 
weather in them latitudes, ' there's no denvin', and 
they have drove and drove and been beat o6f, may be 
t'other side the world* But the ship's $ good ship, 
and the lad's a good lad *f and it ain't easy, thank the 
Lord," the Captam made a little bow, ** to break up 
hearts of oak, whether they're in brigs or butzums. 
Here we have 'em both ways, which is bringing it 

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DOMBfiV ANiy SON 65 

up with a round turn, and so I ain't a bh afeard as 
yet.- 

" As yet? " repeated Florence. 

** Not a bit/' returned the Captain, kissing his 
iron hand ; ^ and afore I begin to be, my Heart's 
Delight, WalV wfll have wrotit home frmn the island 
or from some port or another, and made all taut and 
ship-ifthape. And with regard to old Sol Gills," 
here the Captain became solemn, ** who I'll stand by, 
and not desert until death dous p^ and when the 
stormy winds do blow, do bloxr^ do Mow — overhaul 
the Catechi^i^" said the Captain patentheticallv, 
'* and there yott^il iind them expressibiis — ^if it would 
console Soi Gills to hkTf> the opinion of a seafaring 
man as has gotsl mind equal tt> any undertaking that 
he puts it alongside of, tod as was all but smashed in 
his 'p^-enttceship, and of which the name is Bunsby, 
that 'ere man shall give him such an opinion in his 
own parlour ae'il stun -hiiki; Ah! " said Captain 
Cuttle, vamitinglyy **i» much aa- if he'd gone and 
knocked h» hedd again a door ! " 

<< L^t us take this gentleman to see him, and let us 
heal- what he says," cri^ Florence. *« WiH you go 
with ua now f We ha^re a cOach here." 

Again the Captain clapped Ins band to his head, 
on Which the hard glazed hat was not, and looked 
discomfited. But at this instant a most remarkable 
phenoMienoti o^xurred. The door opening, without 
any note of preparation, and apparently of itself, the 
hard glazed hat in^^stion skimmed into the room 
like a bh^d, and alighted heavily at the Captain's feet. 
The doof theft shut as violently as it had opened, add 
nothing ensued in explanation of the prodigy. 

Captain Cuttle picked up his hat, and having turned 
it ovefr with a look of interest and welcome, began to 

II. F 

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66 DOMBEY AND SON 

polish it on his sleeve. While doing sOi the Capo- 
tain eyed his visitors intently, and said in a low 
voice : 
'V You see I should ha^e bore. down on Sol Gills 
yesterday, and this morning, but nhe— she took it 
away and kep it. That's the Jong and'sfa^rt of the 
subject." , 

** Who did, £(x goodness' sake i " asked Susan 
Nipper* ' > 

" The lady pfrthe hoUse^ my dear/' returned the 
Captam^ in 9i gruff whisper^ and making, signals of 
secrecy.^ << We had some words about the swabbing 
of these* here planks, and* she — ^in. short,'' said the 
Captain, eyeing the door» and relieving himself with 
a long breath, <^ she stopped my liberty »." 

" Oh ! I wish she had me. to deal with !" said 
Susan, reddening with the energy of the wish* . • ** I'd 
stop her J" .-,>., 

. "Would you, do you think, my^ar?" rejoined 
the Captain, shaking his head doubtfully, but regard- 
ing the desperate courage of the fair aspirant with 
obvious admiration. " I. don't know. It's difficult 
navigation.: She's very hard to carry on with, my 
dear. You never can tell how she'll head, you sec. 
She's fiill one minuie, aiid- round upon you next. 
And when she is a Tartar," said the Captain, with 
the perspiration breaking out upon his f(»-eh(^ — * 
There was nothing but a whistle emphatic ^enough 
for the conclusion of the sentence, so the Captaia 
whistled tremulously. After which he ^ain shook 
his head, and* recurring to Ins admiration of Miss 
Nipper's devoted bravery, timidly repeated^ *^ Would 
you, do you tlunk, my dear? " 

Susan only replied with a bridling smile, but that 
was so very full of defiance, that there is i^ knowing 

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DOMBEY MID ISDN 67 

how loDg Captain Cuttle might have stood entranced 
in its contemplation^ if Florence m her anxiety had 
not again wopoted their immediately resorting to' the 
oracular ^unsby. Thus reminded of his duty, 
Captain Cattle pat on the glazed hat firmly, took up 
another knobhy stick, #iA which he had supplied 
the place of tlMt one given to Walter, and onering 
his ami to Floience^ prepared to cot his way through 
the enemy* 

It turned- oot^ however, that Mrs. MacStinger 
had already changed her course, and th&t she headed, 
as the Captain haid remarked she often 'did, in quite 
a new direction. For when they got down stairs, 
they fofund that exemplary woman beating the mats 
on the doorstep^, with Alexander, still upon the 
pavings-stone, dimly looming through a fo% of dust; 
and so absorbed was Mrs* MacStinger in her house- 
hold occupation, that when Captain Cattle and his 
visitors passed, she beat the harder,' and neither by 
word. nor gesture showed any consciousness of their 
vicinity* The Captain was so well pleased with 
this* easy escape — although the effect of the door 
mats on him was Uke a copious ^Uhninistration of 
snuff, and made him sneeze until the tears ran do'wn 
his face-^that he could hardly beKeve his good 
fortune; hut more than once, between the door and 
the hackney-coadi, looked Over his shoulder, with 
an obvious apprehension of Mrs. MacStinger' s 
giving chase yet. . .. ' . • 

HoweveFy'they got to. the comer of Brig^ t'lace 
without any molestation from that terrible ^re-ship ; 
and the Captain mounting the coach-box-^for his 
gallantry would not allow him to ride inside with 
i the ladies, though besought to do so— ^piloted the 
driver on hift course for Captain Bunsby's vessel, 

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6t DOMBS¥ AND .SON 

wbich was called the Caodout Qara, and was I 
hard by Ratcliffe. 

ArriTed at the wharf olF whkttk this ^eat com- 
mander'a ship was jamned • in among' some five 
hundred companioas, whose tangled rigging looked 
Kke monstr^os cobwebs liaif swept down. Captain 
Cyttle appeared at the coach window^ aiKi invited 
Florence and -Miss Nipper, to accompany him on 
board ; observing that Bunsby was to the fast 'degree 
soft-heartM in r^pect of Jadies, and that nothing 
Would so mochftend to bring his expansive intellect 
iolQ a ftaDe of harmony as &eir pretfeiftati<fn' to the 
Cautious Clanu 

Flortnce readily cooeented; and the Captain, 
taking herjitde hand it his prodigi^NM {Salm, led 
her* with a mixed expresskm of patronage, paternity, 
pride, tmd ceremony, that was pleasant to see, over 
savcrat vei'y dirty, rdecki^ undl, coitnng t<ythe Clara, 
they found rthat cautious craft (which lay outside 
the tier) with her gangway removed, and hdf a 
dozi^n feet of Hvtr interposed between herself and 
her nearest neighbour* It appeared, ftom Captain 
Cuttle's explatttion, that the^ great Btmsby, like 
himself^ was crueUy. treated (by his 'landlady, and 
thatwhtfil her^sageof himfor the timtj ' beibg was 
ao baud that he oouid bear' it do longer, he tet this 
gulf b^wden them as a last resource. 

<<Qara AAioyl**^ cried the Captain, putting s 
hand to each side of his mouth. 

<< A-hoy ! ''cried a boy, like the Captain's echo, 

tumUing up from below* 

/^l&unsby aboard?- cried the Captain, hailing 
the boy in a Itentorian voice, as if he were half a 
mile oif instead of two yards. 

«< Ay, ay I " cried the boy, in the same tone. 

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ilOMBBY AND SON 69 

. TJie boy then sbeved out. a plank t6' Gaptain 
Cij^e,' who.ad jutted it carefully, and led Florence 
across^ returning presently for Miss ><Kp^. Sb 
they stood i^pon the deck of the <2autiott8 Claniy ih 
whose standing cigging* divers flattering articles of 
dress were coring, in company with a few tongues 
and some mackereL 

Jn»iediate]y there appeared, coming - slowly up 
abojvethe ]iulk-^head of the cafan, another bidk^head 
— ^httman, and- very large — ^witk (Hk stationary eye 
in the malic^^y<£ioe,.and onecevolTing one, on the 
principle of some li^thbnses^ This hoid was 
decorated with shaggy hair, like oakum, Ivhich had 
no goTernittg indination towards the north, east, 
weat* or south, but inclined to att four quarters of 
the coii^Bs, and to every point upon it. Thef head 
was followed iby a perfect desert of chin^' and by a 
shirt-»coUar and neckerchief, and by a dreadnought 
pilot-coat, and by a pair of dreadnought pilot- 
trousers, whereof the waistband was to very Wad 
and high, that, it became a succedaneum for a 
waistcoat: being ornamented near the wearer's 
breast-bone with sdme massive wooden - buttons, like 
backgammoii men. ..As the lower portions of thiese 
pantdoons bectine revealed, Buosby stood confessed; 
his hands in their pockets, which were- of vast size; 
and hb gaze directed, n6t to Captain Cuttle or the 
ladies^ but the mast-head. 

The profound '■ appearance of this philosopher, 
who was bulky and strong, and on whose extremely 
red £»ce an expression^ of taciturnity sat enthroned, 
not. inconsistent with his character, in whi^h that 
quality was proudly omspicuoiis, almost daunted 
Captain Cuttk, though on familiar terms with him. 
Whispering to Florence that Bansby had never in 

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TO DQMSEY AND SON 

his life ^xpcf^Bted aurprise, and wts considered not 
to kiK>w what il ineaiit» the Captain watched him as 
he eyed his aust-head| and. afterwards swept the 
horizon ; and when the revolring eye seemed to be 
coming jTPund in his dire(^tion» said : 

*< Bunsby, ray lad^ how fu-es it ? " 

A deep^ grun, husky utterance^ which seemed to 
have no connexion with Bunsfayy and certainly iiad 
not the kast effect upon his face, replied, ^ Ay, ay, 
shipmet, how goes il ! f ' At the salne time Bvnsby's 
rightiiand and arm^ emerging. from a pocket, shook 
the Captain's, and went badf, again* 

'<3unsby,''. $atd the Captain, striking hone at 
once, <<here yon ;H-e; a man; of mind, anda man as 
can give an opinion. Here's a young lady as wants 
•to t^ke that opinion, in regard of my friend Wal'r ; 
likewise my t'other friend, Sol Gills^ which is a 
character for you 'to come within hail o^ being a 
man of scienqe^ which is the mother of inwentioii, 
and kn^ws no laW. Bimsby, will you wear, to 
oblige me, and come along with us?" 

The great commander, who seemed by the 
expres(uon..of his visage to be: always on the look- 
out, for something' in the extremeat distance, and to 
haye no ocular knowledge i>f anytJiing vnthin ten 
miles, made no reply whatever. 

** Here id a man," said the Captain, addressing 
himself to his fair auditors, and. indicating the 
commander with his outstretched hoc^, ^f that has 
fell down more than any man alive ; that has had 
more ac^^idents happen to his own self than the 
Seamen's Hospital to all hands ; that took as many 
spars and bars and bolts about the outside-of his head 
when he was young, as you'd want a - order for oa 
Chatham^yard to Imild a pleasure-^yacht with ; and 

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m>MBET AND SON 71 

yet that got hk optnioiM in that way, it-s My helitf^ 
iar there'an't notlung like 'em aftoat or Mhfore." 

The stolid commander appeared^ by a very ^ight 
▼ibrlttibn in his elboWs^ to express some satisfaction 
in this encomitthi; but if his face had been as distant 
as his gaze was, it could hardly have enlightened the 
beholders lesitf in reference to anything that was 
paamng in his thoaghtSi ^ 

**^hipimet," said Btmsbyy all of a sndden, and 
flto6ping down to look oat under some tnterposii^ 
spar, « what'U the ladies drink?'' 

Captain Cuttle, whose delicaty was shocked by 
such an inquiry in connexion with Florence, drew 
the sage aside; and seeming to explain in his ear, 
accompanied him below ; where, that he might not 
take o^nce, the Captain drank a dram himself, 
which Florence and Susan, glancing down the open 
skyli^it, saw the sage, with 'difficulty finding room 
for himself between his berth and k very litde brass 
fireplace, serve out for self and fiiend. They toon 
reappeaied on deck, and Captain Cuttle, triumphing 
in the success of his enterprise, conducted Florence 
back to the coach, while Bunsby followed, escorting 
Miss Nipper, whom he hugged upon the way (much 
to that young lady's indignation) with his pilot- 
coated arm, like a blue bear. 

The Captain put his oracle inside, and gloried so 
much in having secured him, and having got that 
mind into a hackney-coach, that he could not refrain 
from often peeping in at Florence through the little 
window belnod the driver, and testifying his delight 
in smiles, and also in tsip9 upon his forehead, to hint 
to her that tlfe brain of Bunsby was hd¥d at it. In 
the meantime, Bunsby, still hugging Miss Nipper 
(for 'his friend, the Captain, had not exaggerated the 

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rt DOMQEY AHD SON 

sofiaeM of his heart), uiiifornily preserf^ hb gjfzntj 
of deportment, and ahowed pe oth^ conscioiisnest 
of her or anything. 

Uncle Sdiy who had com^ home, ipeceived thera 
at the door, and ushered ihem immediately into the 
little back-parlour : strangjely altered, by the absmce 
of Walter. On the tabl^ ioA about the room, were 
the charts and maps on which the heavy-hearted 
instrumen^maker had again and. again tracked the 
missing vessel acrosa the sea, .and on .which, with a 
pair of compasses that he still had in his hand, he 
had been measuring, a minute before^ how far ahe 
must have driven^ to have driven her/Stior there : -and 
ti;ying to demonstrate that a long tiine must.elapae 
before hope was e^^hausted. 

<< Whether she can han^ run," said Uncle Sol, 
looking wistfolly over the chart; ^^but^no, that's 
almost impossible. Or whether she am have been 
forced by stresa of weather,r^ut that's not reaaonably 
likely. Or nrhether there is apy. hope she so far 
changed her course as — rbut;even I can hardly hope 
that!*' With, such broken suggestions, poor old 
Uncle Sol roamed Qver the gpeat sheet before him, 
and could not £nd a speck of hopeful probability in 
it large enough to set one small pomt of the 
compasses upon. 

Florence saw immedbtely'--^it would, have beoi 
difficult to help .seeing — that there w^ a singular 
indescribaUe change, in the; old man, and that while 
his manner was far more iresdess and uns^ded than 
usu^l, there was yet a curious, contradictory deciskm 
in it, that perplexpd her vi^y much. , She fancied 
once that he apoke wildly,' and at r^iidom; fos on 
her saying she regretted not to have seeQ him when 
she had been there before that morning, he at first 

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DOMBEV AMD SON 73 

replied that he had been to see her, and direct]/ 
aftertrards seemed to wish to recitil'diat answer* 

<<Yoa hav« been.vto see tneV* said Florence. 
** To-day?" 

^* Yes, my dear yoong lady/' returned Uncle Sol, 
looking at her and away nonr her in a oonfiued 
manner. ** I wished t6 see you with my own eyes^ 
and to hear you with my own ear% once racNre 
before-*-*^" There he stopped; 

^<Befbr« when? Before what?'' said Florence, 
putting her hand upon his arm. 

"Did I say *beforeV?" replied old SoL «If I 
did, I BMist have meant before we should harb'news 
of my dear boy." 

•*Yott are not well," said Florence, -tenderly. 
**You have been so very anxious. I am sure you 
are not well." 

^ I am as well," returned the old man^ shutting 
up his right hand, and holding it out to show her : 
** as well and firm as any man at my time of life can 
hope to be. Seel It's^stbady. Is its master not 
as capable of resolutioii and > fortitude as many a 
younger man ? I think so. We shall see." 

There was that in his manner more than in his 
words, though they- remuned with her to6, which 
impressed Florence so much, that she would have 
c(»fided her uneastaiess to Captain Cuttle' at that 
miHnent, if the Captain had not seized that moment 
for expounding the sute of circumstances on which 
the opinion of the sagacious ' Bunsby was requested^ 
and entreating that profound authority to deliver the 
same. . ' 

Bunsby, whose eye continued to be addressed 
to somewhere abott£ the half-way house between 
London and Gravesend, two or three times poii out 

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74 DOMBEY ANO^SON 

his rough right army as seeking to wind it for 
inspiration ro^d the fair fbrm of Miss Nippar ; but 
that yoong female, having withdrawn harselif, in 
displeasure^ to the opposite side of the table, the 
soft heart of the Commander of the Cautious Clara 
met with no response to its impolaes. After aoadry 
failures in this wise, the Commander, addressing 
himself to i^body, thus spake ;- or rather, the voice 
within him said df its own accord, and quite 
indmndent of himself as if he were possessed by a 
gruff spirit : • ' 

«< My name's Jack Bunsby ! " 
' ^f He was christened John^" cried the delighted 
Captain Cuttle. « Hear him ! " , " 

"And what I says,'* pursued the voice, after 
some deliberation, " I stands to/' 

The Captain, with Florence on his arm, nodded 
at the auditory, and seemed to say, '^Now* he's 
coming oat. This. is what. I meant when I brought 
him." 

"Whereby," proceeded the toice, "why not? 
If so, what odds? Can asfy man say otherwise? 
No. Awastthen!** 

When it had pursued its train of argument to this 
point, the voice stopped, and rested. It then 
proceeded very slowly, thus : < 

" Do I believe that this here Son and Heir's 
gone down, my lads^ Mayhap. D6 I say so? 
Which? If a skipper stands out by Sen' George's 
Channel, making for 'the Downs, what's right ahead 
of him? The Gocldwins. He isn't forced to run 
upon the Goodwins, but he may. The bearings of 
tins observation lays in the application on it. That 
an't no part of my duty. Awast then, keep a 
l»ight look-out for'ard, and good luck t6 you 1 " 

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IftOMBEY AND SON 75 

The voice Kere went out of the back-parloiir and 
into the street, takmg the Commander of the Cautioos 
Citf a with it, and accompanying him en board again 
with all convenient expedition^ where he immediately 
turned in, and refreshed his mind with a nap. 

The students of the sage's precepts, left to their 
own application of his wisdom-^pon a principle 
which was the maan leg of the Bunsby tripod, as it 
is perchance of some other oracular stook— looked 
apon one another in a little uncertainty ; while Rob 
the Grinder, Who had taken the innocent freedom of 
peering in, and listening, through the skylight in the 
roof, caAie softly doMrn from the leads, in a staite of 
very 'dense confusion. Captain: Cuttle, however, 
whose admiratibn 0f - Buns^r. was, if possible, en* 
hanced by the splendid manner iii which h^ had 
justified his reputation and come tlirough this solemn 
reference^ proceeded to explain that Bunsby meant 
nothing but confidence ; inat Bunsby had no mis« 
givmgs; and tliat such 'an opinion as that man had 
given, coming from such a mind as his, was Hope's 
own anchor, with good roads to cast it in.. Florence 
endeavoured to believe that the Captain was right; 
but the Ni|^»er, with her arms tight folded, shook 
her head in resolute denial, and had^no'more trust in 
Bunsby than in Mr. Perch himself. 

The philosopher seemed to have left' Uncle Sol 
pretty much> where he had found him, for he still 
went roaming about the watery world, compasses in 
hand, and discovering no rest lor them. ' It was in 
pursuance of a whi^r in his ear from Flonence, 
while the old man was absorbed in. this purouit, that 
Captain Cuttle laid his heavy liand upon his shoulder. 
"What cheer, Sol Gills T' cried the Captain, 
heartily. 

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76 DOMBEY AXm^^SOa 

*^ But 60-80, Ned," returned the tnatnuneot-nuker. 
^ I have, -been rememberingy all thia ^ftemooo^ that 
on the very day when my boy entered Donjbey's 
house and came home late to dionery sitting 'jast 
there where you stand, we talked of storm, and ahip- 
wreck^and I could hardly turn him from the 8ub|act." 

But ineeting the eyea^ of Florence, wluch were 
fixed 'with earnest scrutiny, upoti Ibis face, the old man 
stopped and smiled. 

** Stand by^ old friend 1 *' cried the Captain. 
<^ Look alive ! I tell you what, Sol Gills ; arter 
I've convoyed Heart's Delight safe, honie^'' here 
the Captain kissed his hook to Floraoce^ ^^J'll come 
back and take you in ^tow for the r6st of thiftlilessed 
day. You'Jl come and eat* y our dinnec along with 
me^ Sol, somewheres or andther/' 

<^ Not to-day, Ned.i *' fiaid the old man quickly, 
and appearing to be unaccountably startled by the 
proportion. *^ Not taKllty.. I couldn't do it ! *' 

*^ Why not i " returned ithe Captaift, gazing at him 
in astonishment. ? . 

*^ I^^I have so much to do. I*-*rI mean to think 
of, and arrange. I couldn't do it, Ned, indeed. I 
must go out again, and be alone, ^and turn my mind to 
many things torday*'' 

The Captain looked at the instrumeatrmaker, and 
looked at Florence, and againat theioetrumeni-iBaker. 
« To-morrow, then," he suggested at last. 

" Yes, yes. To-morrow," said the old man. 
" Think of me to-morrow. . Say to-morrow.** 

**1 shall come h&^ early, mind, Sol Gills," 
stipulated the Captain. 

*^ Yes, yes. The firm thing to-morrow moming," 
said old 'Sol ; f< and now good-bye, Ned Cuttle, and 
God bless you ! " 



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DOMBBY AND SON 77 

Squeezing both the Caftam's hands, with vr- 
commoo fiecrour, as he said it, the old man turned 
to Florence, folded hers m his omUf-md put Chem 
to his lips ; then hurried her x>ut to the coach with 
yery singular precipitation. Altogether, he made 
such an effect on Captain Cuttle that the Captain 
lingered behind, and instructed Rob to be particu- 
larly gentle and attentive to his master until the 
morning; which injunction he strengthened with 
the payment of one shdling down, and the promise 
of another sixpence before noon next day. This 
kind office performed. Captain Cuttle, who considered 
himself thenatttral and lawful body-guaKl of Florence, 
mounted the hox with a mighty sense of his trust, 
and escorted her home. . At parting, he assured her 
that he would. >stand by Sol Gills, close and truef . 
and. once Again tnquiied of Susan Nippec, unable to 
forget ther gallant words inreference to Mrst Mac- 
Stinger» << Would you^.db you think, my dear^ 
thotogh.r' 

When the desolaite . house had closed upon the 
two, lihe Capum's/thouphts everted to tlie. old 
instrumeot-niftk^r, and he felt uncomfortable. There- 
fore,; instead of goit^ home, he walked up and down 
the street several times, and,, ekiog^ out bis (ffisure 
until, evenings dinod late at a certain angular little 
tavern in the City, with a public parlour like a.w^ge» 
to which glazed hats much resortedo The Captain's 
principal intention Vfas to pass Sol. Giiis's after dark, 
and Jook in through the window : which he did. 
Thepadour door stood open, and iiecould see his 
old friend writing, biisily and steadily at the table 
within, while ^e fittle Midshipman, akeady .sheltered 
from the nigbt dews^ watched him from the counter ; 
under. which Rob the Grinder made his own b^. 

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78 DOMBEY AND SON 

preparatory to shutting tlpe shop. Rcaassnred by the 
trsmomllity that reigiied Svithin the precmcts of the 
wooden mariner^ iJie Captain headed for Brig Place, 
resolving to weigh anchor betimes m the morning. 



Chapter XXIV 

THE STUDY OP A LOVING HEART 

SIR BARNET and Lady Skettles, ifery good 
people, resided in a pretty villa ^ Ptillumi, on 
the banks of the Thames; which was^cme of the 
most desirable residences in the wbiid when a rowing- 
match happened to be going pacst, but had its little 
inconveniences at other times,' among which may be 
enumerated the occasional appearance of the river in 
the drawing-room, and the contemporaneous dis- 
appearance of the lawn and ^inibbery. 

Sir Bamet Sketdes expressed his pertonal con- 
sequence chiefly through an antique gold' iliaif«box, 
and a ponderous silk pocket-handkerchief, which he 
had an imposing manner of drawmg but of his pocket 
like a banner, and using with both haodB at once. 
Sir Barnet's object in life wusconstandy to extend 
the range of his acquaintance. • Like a heavy body 
dropped into water — not to disparJrge so worthy a 
gentleman liy the compariso&^it was in the nature 
of things that Sir Bamcf 'must spread an etcr** 
widening circle about him, until there wtis no foom 
left. Or, like a sound in air, the vibration of which, 
according to the speculation of an ingenious modem 
philosopher, may go on travelling for ever tliroagh 

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DOMBEY AND SON 79 

the uiteriBinable £eMfi of Bpaicc^ nothing but comii^ 
to the end of his moral tether could stciip Sir Bamet 
Sketiles in his Toyage of diieovery through the social 
system* > . 

Sir Bamet was proud of making people acquainted 
with people. He liked the thing tor ils own sake, 
and it advanced his fiiToiirite object too. ;For 
example, if Sir Bamet had the gbod fortune to get 
hold of a raw recruit, or a country gentleman, and 
ensnared him to his hospkaUe Tilla, Sir Bimet 
would say to him, on tl^e morning after his arrival, 
^Now, my de»r ar, i»- there anybody you would 
like to know? Who is these - you wtnud wish to 
meet'? Do you taketmy interest in writing people, 
or in psiintiBg,' or sculpturing pe^^ky or in acting 
people, or in anything of that- > sort ? " Possibly the 
patient} answered yes, and mentioned somebody, 'of 
whom Sir Bamet had ilo more personal knowledge 
than of Ptoleray the- Great. Sir Bamet replied^ 
that nothing on earth was easier,- as he knew him 
very 'well: immediately called on^ the aforesaid 
somebody, left his card, wrote a short note, ** My 
dear sir — ^penalty of your eminent position — 'friend 
at -my iiouae naturally desirous«-««Lady Skettles and 
myself participate-^-Hb'ust that geniUS' being superioi^ 
to ceremonies, yo(t will do us the distinguidied 
favour of giving us the pleasure," &c., &c. — and so 
killed a brace (thirds with one stone, dead as door« 
nails. 

With the «nuff<*box and banner in>' full force, Sit- 
Bamet Skettles ^propounded his usual inquiry to 
Florence on the first morning of her visits When 
Florence thanked him, and said there was no one in 
particulaF whom she desired to see, it was natural she 
should think with a ^Muig, of poor lost Walter. 

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So DOMBBY AND SON 

When Sir Barnet Sketdes; urging his kind offer, 
aaid, ^*My dettr Miss Dombey, are yoa sure yoa 
can remember no one 'whom^ fonr good pap»--to 
whom I beg you to present the best compliments of 
myself and ll-ady Skettles 'whcn you write-^— might 
wish yov to know? "^ it was as natural, perliapfl^ that 
her-' poor head should idrocf a litdc^ and thai her 
▼oii:e should tiiemhle as it boftly im«wered in die 
negative. . 

Sketdes Junior, much stiffened as to his craimt, 
and sobered down <as to his spirits, waa at honie for 
the holidays, and appeared to fed himself aggrieved 
by the soficitude of his excellent nioftber that he 
should be attentive to Florance^ Anodier and a 
deeper injury under ^hich the soul of young Barnet 
chafed, was the company: of Doctor and Mrs. 
Blimber, who had heea invited on a visit to the 
parental roof-tree, and of whom the young ' gentle- 
man often said he would have preferred ^i^ir passing 
the vacation at Jericho. 

** Is there anyixxfy you can suggest, now, Doctor 
Blimber ^'' said'Sir Barnet. Skettle^ tturning to tint 
gentleman. . . 

** You are very kind, Sir Barnet," returned Doctor 
B^ber. ** Really I am not aware that ' there* is, in 
particular. I like to knot^ my feUow-menringeneral, 
Sir BarneL What does Terence say? , Any one 
who is the parent of a son is interesting to mei^' 

" Has Mrs. Blimber any wish to see any remaifk- 
able person ? '' asked Sir Barnet courteously. : 

Mrs. Blimber replied, inith a ^eet smile and a 
shake of her sky-blue cap, that if Sir Barnet. could 
have made her known to Cicero, she wiould- have 
troubled him ; ^ but such an introductaoH not being 
feasible,'and she akeady enjoying the friendship c^ 



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DOMBBV" AN0 SON 8i 

himself and'his aimable lady, and possessing with 
the Doctor her husband their joint confidence in 
regard io their dear- son-^here young '^'Bihiet -was 
observed to carl his iiose-— she asked no more. * 

Sir Barnet was-fain, undei? these cirenmstancesy to 
content himself- far the time with the oompany 
assenoUed* - Florence was glad of that ; for she had 
a study to parsue among tfaem^ and it lay too> near 
her hearty and was to<> precioas aad momentouSy to' 
yield' to any other interest. 

There were some. children staying in the.house« 
Childreo whawere as firank aild happy with fathers 
and with mothen as those rosy^ faces oppositie home. 
Childreo who had no restraint upon their tove^ and 
freely showed it. Florence sought to learn ^ir 
secret^ sought to find out what it was she had 
missed ; what simple art they knew, and the knew 
not; hew she comd be tanght by tHemto show her 
father that she loTed him, and to win his lore 



Many a day cHd Florence thooghtfidly observe 
these childreii. 'On many a bright mdmii^ did she 
leave her bedivhen the glorioas sun. rose, and walk*^ 
ing op and down; upon die river's bank, before any 
one in the house waftstiwing, look npl at the winddws' 
of their- roonss, and think; of them^- asleep, so* gently 
t»ided ind> afiPectionately thought of. Flor^ce 
would feel more; lonely tMn^* thati in t^ great house 
all alone; aad would think sometimes that she was 
better there than here, and that there was greater 
peace in hiding herself than in mingling with odvera' 
of her age, and Ending how unlike them all she was.' 
But attentive to her study^ though it touched her to 
the ^pick at every little leaf «he turned is' the hard 
book,' Florence remained among them, and tried^ 

II. G 

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U DOMKEY ANI» SOlf 

with patkat hope» to gais the knowledge that she 
wearied for* 

Ah ! how to gain^ it ! how to.know the charm in 
its beginoii^ ! There were daughters here, who rose 
up in the morning, and lay down to. rest ait night, 
possessed of fathers' hearts already.^ They had no 
repdse.to overcome, no coldness to dread, no firown 
tp smooth away. Aa the mommg advanced, and 
the windowa opened one by one, and the dew began 
to dry upon the flowers and grasi^ and youth&l feet 
began to move upon the lawn, Florence glancing 
round at the bright &ces,tliought what. was there 
she could learn from these children ? It was too 
bte to learn from them ; eaeh could aptNroach her 
father. fearleasly, and put up her Hps to meet the 
ready kiss^ and wiod her afm about the. neck that 
bent do#n to caress her» Sife cpnld not begin by 
being so bold. Oh! could it- be that there- was less 
and less h<^ as she studied more and more ! 

She remembered well, that even the old woman 
who had robbed her when U liftle child^^-fwhose 
image and whose house, and all she had said and 
done, were stamped upon her recolleetson^ with the 
enduring ^larpness of a fearful impression made at 
that early period . of life-r^had spoken fondly xif her 
daughter, and how terribly even she had i cried out in 
the pain of hopeless separadim from her diild. But 
her own motber,«he would think again, when she 
recalled this, had loised her well. Then^ sometinnes, 
when her thoughts eeverted swiftly to the .Toid 
between herself and her &ther, Florenoe would 
tremblei and the tears would start upon her £ice^ as 
she pictured to herself her mother living^ on, and 
coming also to dislike her^ beaanse of. her wanting 
the unknown grace that should conciliate that father 

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DOMBEY AND SON 83 

iiatiira%9aiid had iiever(k>oeta from her cndle. fihe 
knew that this imagination did .wrong to her mother'a 
menorjy and had no truth m it, or hMeto rest upon ; 
and y^^ie tried fto hard to jintify him^ and' to £aA 
the whole blame in faerflelf, that die could not resiat 
its passings \ik^ a. wild cloud, through the dbtance of 
her mind. 

. There came among the other visitors, soon after 
Florenpe, onet beautilid g^i, three or Smtt ^yeaiii 
younger than she, who was ad 6rphap cluld, and who 
was accpmpat^ J^ her awt, a grey-haired lady, 
who spoke muck to.FJprenef, and who greatly Jik«d 
(but that they all did) t« hear. Iier sing of an evening, 
and wo«Id sAwSiy* sit ^lear her at that time,: With 
motherly mterest* They had only been two days in 
the house, when Florence, being in an. arbour in the 
garden one warm loprning, musingly observant of a 
youthful group upo&,the turf, through some interven- 
ing boughs, and wreathing flowers for the head of one 
little creature among them who was the petlmd play- 
thing of the rest, heard this same lady and her niece, 
in pacing up and down a sheltered nook close by, 
speak of herself. 

^ Is Florence an orphan like me, aunt ? " Said 
the child* ' 

** No, my love. She has no . ro6ther^ but her 
father ia living.'' .,.'.,'';. 

** Is she in mourning for her poon mamma, now ? 'f 
inqukect the child quiSUy^. • 

** No ; for he« only brother." • ., ,f : 

" Haa she no other brother ? " 

"None." ... 

"No sister?" v . . 

« None." 

" I am very, very <orry ! " said tin^ litlle girl. 

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84 DOMBBVTv AND «0N 

As tfaey stopped soon afterwards to watch' some 
boata^aad had been silebt inthe me«ieime, Flti^ence, 
who had risen when she hekrd her name^ and' had 
gathered- up bsF flowers to go and m^et them, that 
they might know of her being wiljhin heating, resinned 
her aeat and ifork^expeMng tb'httar no more; but 
the conversation recommenced next moment. 

^. Florence is a- favoiirite with everyone here, tmd 
deserves t6 be, I am sure,'' sali th^ child, ^iunestly. 
**Whe«ishcrpapa?" 

[The aont replied, after a moment's pause, that 
she.<did>nol know. -Her tbne"0# voice arrested 
Florence^^who had stlined' from her seat^gab ; and 
Held her fasteiied to the spot, with her work testily 
caught i^ to her bosom, and her two hands saving 
it from being scattered on the ground. 
. << He is in England,' I hope, aunt ^" said the child. 

** I believe so. Yei i I know he i!3,'indeed.'' 

" Has he ever been here f * ' 

« I believe not. Noi'* 

** Is he coming here to see her ? ** 

"I believe not'^ ... 

<< Is he lame, or blind, or ill, auntf adked the 
iehilcf. '!• .•••■••: r '-• 

The flowers that Florence held to her breast began 
to fall when she heard those words,' so wonderingly 
spoken. She held them closer ; and her'&ce hung 
down upon them, i > . * ■ < : 

** Kate," said the lady> iftcf another Tboment of 
silence, ** I will tell you the whole truth about 
Florence as I have heard it^ and believe it t6 be. 
Tell no one else, my dear, because it may be little 
known here, and your doing so would give ' her 
pain." 

" I never wi§! '^ exclaimed the child. 

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POMBEY AND SON S5 

** I know y<n» QereiT will," jpetdraDd the lady. 
** I C9fk tarust you 98 myeeilL I faur thou, Kate^ that 
Flor.ence'8 father cares little for her,- very tekloiii 
see her, acTer was luod tx> Iter b ker life, and now 
quite ^ui^i ber .aod avoidi her* ^She Would love 
him dearly if ho* wfilU suffer ket^ but he will not^*^ 
though for .00 hxl%<^ hiera s and she is greafly to 
be loved and pitied ibjMill'getitle 'hearts." 

More of the ^o>rers that .Florence held, lell 
scattering on the. ground ; • tiiose: that remained were 
wet, but not;w4th.dew ; and herfaGe.dvopped upon 
her laden haikls. 

** Poor Flo|:ence ! I>eal-9 giMd Floiwe i ^' cried 
the. child*: 

** Do you know why I have told you thlk, Katel ' ' 
said the lady. ^ « 

** That. I nay he ^my kind to her, and take 
gre;it care to try : to fJisacie her. - Is ithat the f eason, 
aunt?". 

<< Partly/' aaid. i(he lady» ^ hut not Ail. Though 
we .see her so iCheerful ; with a pleasant* smile for 
every one; ready to oblige usf all, and beating her 
part in every amusement here: sIk can hardly' be 
quite -happyy do you thinki she can^ Kate ? "* 
<* I am aftaid not," said the little igid« > 
<*And you can understand^'' pursUe^ the lady, 
" wh3ii her obf^r^ratioo of children- who have parents 
who are fond of .them, and proud of' themf-r-like 
many here, .jv|6t;Aiaw — 9hottkl make her sorrowful in 
secret?'* . ' ».-... .. ■" ■ .. ^^ ' . . 

•V Yes, d^ar. jiuqt,'.' said d^e.ohild^ ^.l imderstand 
th«t ye^ weU. . Pow Floireocol '' . ' ' . .. 
. i^oj[e ^fimers strayed, upon the gsound^and tlwse 
she yet held to her breast trembled as if* a- wintry 
wind were JHifiding. them* . > K -.. ^ . 

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86 DOMBBY AND SOM 

^My Katsi" said- the lady, wfadse voice was 
serioys, bdt very cahn and sweet, and had so im- 
pressed Fbresce from the first moment of her hear- 
ing it^ ^ of all the youthfid peojJe here, yon are her 
natural and harmless^ ftiend; you have not the 
innocent means^ that happier chikh^en have " 

** There are node happier, atlnt ! '* estdaimed the 
child, who seemed to cling' about her* 

— .** As other children hive, dear Kate, of re- 
minding her of her mislbrtime.' Therefore I Wo^ld 
have you, when yon try to be hb* Ktde friend, try 
ail the more for that, and feel that the berfe a ve i tient 
fovL sustained — 'thank HeaKren ! before you knew 
its weight — gives you claim and hold upon poor 
FlQrenie.'V 

<* But I am not without a parent's love, aunt, 
and I JKver have been,*' said the child, ** with you," 

<* However that may be, my deari** returned the 
lady, ''your misfortune is a lighter one than 
Florence's ; for not atf orphan in the wide world 
can be: 80 deserted as' the child who is an outcast 
from a living parent's love." 

The Howers were scattered on the ground like 
dust ; the empty hands were spread upon Che face ; 
and orphaned Florence, shrinking down upon the 
ground. Wept long and bitterly. 

But tme of heart 'and resolute hi her good pur- 
pose, Florence held to it as her dying mother held 
by her upon the day that gave Ptfal iijfei He did 
not know how much she loved him. However 
long the time in'- coming, and ^ however slow the 
interval, she must try to faring that knowledge to ber 
filthier 's heah one day or odio'. Meantime she imist 
be careful V in no thoughtless word, or look, or burst 
of feeling awakened by any chance circumsuilce, to 

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DOMBEY AND SON 87 

com^am against fainiy or to giTe occasion for these 
whispers |o his prejudice. 

Even in the respOkise she made the orphan child^ 
to whom she was attracted strongly, and whoiA she 
had such occasion to vaaembegf Florence was mind« 
fid of him. If sher aingled her out too plainly 
(Floreooe thought) from among the rest^ she would 
coofirm — ia one mind certainly ; perhaps in more-*- 
the belief that he was.cmrl and fmnatural. Her 
own delight was no set-«fF to diis^ What she had 
overheard was a reasost not for soothing herself, hot 
for saving him ; and Floretice did it, in pursuance of 
tiie stody of her heart. > * 

She did so always. If a book were read aloud, 
and there w'tre anything in the story that pointed at 
an unkind father, she was m pain for their applica- 
tion of it to htm $ not for hera^lE So with any 
trifle of an interlude that was acted, or picture that 
was shown, or game that waa ]Jayed, among them. 
The occasidBs for such tenderness towards him were 
so many, that her mind nn^ave her often, it would 
indeed be better to go^ back to die old house, and 
live again within the shadow of its dull walls, undis- 
tvbed. How few who saw sweet Florence, in hef 
spring 4>f womanhood, the modest little queen of 
those small i^^ls^ imagined what a kxid of sacred 
care lay heavy in her breast! How few of those 
who stiffimed in her father's fireeang atmosphere, 
suspected what a heap of fiery coals were ^iled upon 
his head! 

Florence pursued' her study patiently, and, Eiiling 
to a«H^r0the secret of the nameless* grace she sought, 
among the youthful company who were assembled 
in the house, often walked out atone, in the e^lv 
morning, among the cfaildrea of the poor. Bvtt still 

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S8 DOMBBY AND SON 

she found them all too hr advanced to learn firom. 
They had won their household places lon^ ago^ and 
did not stand withontt as «he did» with a bar across 
Uiedoor. 

There was one iofm whom she several times ob- 
aocved at work Terjr ^arlyt and often with a girl o( 
about her own age seated near him. - He was a very 
poor niaoi who seemed to.liaiie.no segular enipk>y- 
meoty but now went roaming about the banka of the 
river liFhen th^ tide was k>w> looking oat for Intaand 
ocra|»$^ th^ mud; and now worked at the un- 
promising- little patch of garden-ground before his 
cottage ; and now tinkered up< a misemble old boat 
jdiat belonged to him ; or did some job of that kind 
for a neighbouTy as chance occurred* Whatever the 
man's labour, the girl was never 'employed; ^bvt sat, 
when she was with him, in a listless, moping state, 
and idle* ! . . 

. Ploifeoce had oftea wished to speak to this man ; 
yet she had. never taken courage to do so» as he 
made no movement towaods her« But one morning 
>¥hen she! happened to come upon him suddenly, 
from a by-path among some jiolttrd willows which 
tenninated in the little shelving piece of stony ground 
that lay between his dwelling and the watery where 
he was bedding over, a fire, he had made to caulk the 
old boat which wis lying bottom upwards^ dose by, 
he liaised his head at the sound of her* fooHttep, and 
gave her Good morning* * . . 

**Good morning," said F'lorence, approaching 
nearer, ?*yattftre.*atwoik early;" 

. <<rd be glad to-be; isAea at work earlier^. miss, if 
J had work ta do/' 
'^«Isili8o.havdfoget?" asked Florence. . 

•« /jfind it 80,j" "ire^ied the-man*. 

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DOMBBY AND SON S9 

FJorence glanced to where the girl was sitttog, 
drawn together, with her elbows on her knees, and 
her bhin oh her hands, and said: 

^« Is that your d^ghter ? '^ 

He raised his head iquickly, and looking towards 
the girl with a brightened £ice, nodded to her, and 
said ^ Yes." * Floredce looked towards her loo, 
and ga^e .ker> a kind saktation ; the girl muttered 
B<Hnething in retunv ungraeiowly and sidlenly. 

"Is she in want of employment also f " said 
Florence. - '•» ' 

The man shook his head. ^ No/^. miss," he 
said. "Iworkforbdth.'^, 

"Are there only you two, tben?^ inquired 
Floredce. . 

"Only us t#o/' said the mian. << Her mother 
Has been dead these tea year* Martha ! V ^he 
lifted up his head again, and whisded to her), 
" won't you say a word to the pcetty yonngrladyf " 

The girl made an impatient gesture with, her 
cowering shoulders, and turned her head, another 
way. Ugly, misshapen, peeirish, ill-conditioned, 
ragged, dtfty-r-bot: beloved S Oh, yes ! Florence 
had seen her Cither's look towards^ her, and she knew 
whose lo<^ it had no likeness to. 

"I'm afraid she's worse this morning, my poor 
girl t" s^d the man^ suspending his work, and con- 
templating his ill-favoured child^.widi a Compassion 
that was the more tender for being rough* 

" She is ill, then ! " said Florence. 

The mlm drew a deep"sigh. ^^1 ddn't believe 
my Martha's Jbad five short days' gbod health,", he 
answered^ looking at her^atil^ 'Mnasmny long 
years." '!••,«.•.' 

'^ Ay-I'. and moire tban^that, John^'' said a neigh- 

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90 OOMBET AND SON 

Ixmr, who had come doNvn to help him with the 
boau • • 

"More than that, yott My, do yo«?''' cried the 
other, pushing back his battered hat, and drawing 
his hand across his forehead. ** Very like. It 
seems a long, longtime." 

** And the more the time^^^piirsiied the neighbour, 
"the more you've faTOwed and hmMbured her, 
John, till she's got to be a burden to herself, and 
everybody eke." ' ^ . 

** Not to me," said her father, falling to his work 
again. "Not to me." 

Florence could feel — who better?— how truly he 
spoke. She drcjw a httle closer to bimy and -would 
have been glad to touch his rugged hand, and thank 
him for his goodness tothe miserabie object that he 
loofked upon with eyea so "different lirom any other 
man'^B. 

"Who would fevour mf poor girl^*-4D call it 
favouring — ^if /didn't?" said the fether. 

^••Ay, ay," orfied the neighbour. " In reason, 
John« But you ! You rob yourself to give to her. 
You biiid yourself hand, and' foot- on her account 
You make yoarJife miserable along c^ her. And 
what does tL care ? You don't bdieve rite knows 
it?" ' ' • 

The father lifted up his ^ead' again, and whistled 
to her. Mardia' made the same impadent gesture 
with her crouching 'shoulders, in reply ; and he was 
glad andhappy»' • . • 

"Only 'for thaft, mi8B,"'«aid the neighbour, with 
a smik, in which' there wiaa more of secret isynij^thy 
than he expressed ; .M^y 'to get that, he never lets 
her out of his sight ! " 

" Because the^ay'll C)ome^^and>has been oommg 

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DOMBEY AMD SON 91 

a long while/' observed the dther, bending low over 
his work, ** whte to gtt half as much from that 
unfort'iiatb chrid of n^ie — Co get the trembling of a 
finger; or tht waving of d hair^ — ^woold be to raise 
the dead." ^ 

Flof«nce softly put some money neafhis hand, on 
tlie old boat, sind Ufft him.* 

A»d now Florence b^an to thinks If she were to 
fail ill( if she were to fade like her dear broths , 
w<Hild he then, know that she had loved him; would 
fiihe then grow dear) to him '; would he come to* her 
bedside, when she was weak and dim of sights and 
take her ifito his embrace, and cancel all -the past ? 
Would he so forgive hier, in that changed condition, 
for not having been able to lay open her iihildish 
heart to htm, as to make it easy to rekee with what 
enx>tioA8 8he< 'had gone out of his room that night ; 
what 'she had meant to say if she had had the 
coorage i andboiv she had endeavoured, afterwards, 
to kiirai the w^she never knew in infancy ? 

Yes, she thought if -she were dyings he would 
relent* She thought, that if she lay, serene and not 
unwilling to depart, upon the bed that was curtained 
round with recollections <ff their daHing boy, he 
would be touched home, and would say, "Dear 
Florence, li^ for me, and 'we #ill love each other 
as we*might-have done, eind be as happy as we 
might hav^ been these many years ! " Shef thought 
that if she heard such w6tds from hinn and had her 
arms clasped round- him, she could answer wttli a 
smile, <« It is too )a«e for anything but this $ ' i nevet* 
could be happier, dear father 1 " and so leave hini; 
withabies^gonherlipi. > . 

The goiden* wutdr'she remembered on thti wall, 
appea»d to F^lorence^ in the light of such reflections^ 

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90 



DOMBE 



fmnKi 



homtj who had come d 
boau ' 

<* More than that, yc 
other, poshing back his 
his hand across hit .for 
seems a long, long time.*' 

** And the more the di 
"the more yon've fiiTC 
John, till she's got to b« 
everybody ^kc." 

" Not to me," said her 
again. ^ Not to me." 

Florence could feel — w* 
spoke« She drew a httie 
have been glad to touch hii 
hiiii for his goodness to the 
looiked upon with eyetr so 






indail^jo would Ikvour mjr .#i1fl 2Ls*»^''^ 
As it waNtf/ didn't? " •aid*tI]^|•*''^^,^,il»p>^«•'^ 
ever> FWepcJIyorfedthe iidghbou#^*r*^ 
man to his fate gW^Njsj^fc j ^ourselt'^^'^ ( 

on amicably ; Lady Skettle^WOt on^H?- ^^iefi'^ 
ing, in, a state of perfect comjiBB <tf bc*^i^J^^, 
gratification. ^^V^^ ^ . 

This was the or<fcr of procedure onV itiin^ 
in question: .and Florence had almost «il# ^^itffl^' ' 
overruling the present, objections of Skcttil S*^*^"*" 
tO' his, destiny, when a gditfeman on horaeb^l^ \)^ 
ridwg 1^,. looked at them (earnestly as he ^ f^ 
df^w in lusreiq^.wheeled round, and came* rididi' ^t^^^ ' 
again, haUnhaad. ' . .- : • - ,. |fa^ 

Thegentlemanhad lookedpdrtici4arl^atFlor^W; 
and when the little party stopped^ o» hts ndiog If^ 
be bowed to her> beifote saluting Sir B^oet iud \m 

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' AND. «ON 



91 









[remembrance of iuTing ever 
] involuht^ly when he cane 

iy qiiiiet, I assure you," aaid 

•omethiag in the gentleman 
L not have aaid what — that 
lad been stung. 
to address Miss Dombey^ I 
eman, -with a most persuasive 
icUning her >head» he addied, 
' I can hardly hope to be 
Dombey^ excqit by nam^ 

i strange tnclinatton to shiYer^ 
t, presented htm to her host 
n he was very gracbusly 



"P"^k4u lj'*^ ^> oJd Mr. Car ker, *<ta thousand 
bati^^,^ ""^y^ifci m goin^'down td^morrow morning 
^^'^'WkU. v^* at Leamington, and if Miss 
A Sirl^j ..^^i^Unst me. with any commutaion, .need 



my 

Kifc-; '^ -w^happy I shallbe ? " 
diitii^'Baffiet immaiiately divining that Florence 
Ij JK Jua desike ta write a letter to- her father, proposed 
(ic(^ ^return, and besought Mr. Carker to come home 
ft,^i dine in his riding gear. Mr. Carker had the 
ijj^iisfortune to be engaged to dinner, but if Miss 
,3ombey wished to write, nothing would delight 
Aim more than to accompany them back, and to be 
W faithful slave in waiting as long as she pleased. 
As he said this with his widest smile, and bent down 
cloae to her to pat his horse's neck, Florence meet- 
ing his eyes, saw, rather than heard him say, ^< There 
is no news of the ship ! " 



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94 DOMBEY AND SON 

Confused, frightenedyBbrinking from hiin» and not 
even sure that he had said those words» for he seemed 
to have shown them to her in some extraordinary 
manner through his ttniie, instead of uttering diem, 
Florence faintly said that she was obliged to him, 
but she would not write; she had nothing to say. 
. << Nothing to send. Miss Dombey?" said tlM^man 
ofteeth. 

** Nothing/'' said F^rence, « but my-^ut my 
dear love — if you please.'' 

Disturbed as 'Florence! was, she raised hkr eyes to 
his face witih a^ implmng and expressive' look, that 
pfaunly besought him, if he knew— <which he as 
plainly did — tihat any message between her and her 
father was an uncommon charge, but that ix» most 
of all, to spare her. Mr* Carker smiled and bowed 
low, and being charged by Sir Bamet with the best 
compliments of himself and Lady Skettles, took his 
leave, and rode away : leaving, a favourable impres- 
sion on that worthy couple. Florence was seized 
with such a shudder as he went, that* Sir Bamet, 
adopting ^e popular superstition, simposed somebody 
was passing over her grave. Mr. .Carker, turning a 
comer, on the instant^ looked back, and boiMed^ smd 
disappeared, as if he rode off to the churchyard, 
strai^t, to do it. 



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DOMBEV AND SON 9S 

.. Chapter XXV 

STRANGE News Q^ HNCIE SOI* 

CAPTAIN CUTTLfi, though no sluggard, did 
not turn oat i& early on the morning after he 
bad seen Sol Gilfe, throa^the shop- window, writing 
in the parlour^ with the Midshipman upon the counter, 
and Rob the Grinder making up his bed below k, but 
that the clocks eCruck six a$ he raised himself on his 
elbow, and took a survey of his little chamber. The 
Captain's eyes must have* done severe duty, if he 
usitally opened them as wide on awaking as he did 
that morning ; and were but roughly rewarded for 
their vigilance, if he generally rubbed them half as 
hard* But the occasion was no common one, fbr 
Rob the Grinder had certainly never stood in the 
doorway of C&ptain Cutde's bedroom before, and in 
it he stood tKen,' panting sft the Captain, with a flushed 
and touzled air of b(ed ^bout him, thiit greatly height- 
ened both his colour and expression. 

••Holloa ! " roared the Captkm. •'What's the 
matter?" 

Before Rob could stammer a word in answer, 
Captain Cuttle turned oiit, all in a heip, and covered 
the boy's mouth with- his hand. 

••Stcadyj ray lad,*' said the Captain, *• don't ye 
speak a word tc me as yet ! " 

The Captain, looking at his.viskor in great Con- 
sternation, gently shouldered him into the next room, 
after layitig ^is injunction upon him; dnd disappear- 
ing for a few moments, fordiwith returned in the blue 
soft Holding up hfs hand in token of the injunction 
not yet being taken off. Captain Cuttle walked up to 
the cupbo^d, and poured himself out a dram; a 

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96 DOMBEir AND SON 

counterpart of which he handed to the messenger. 
The Captain then stood hinifelf up in a comer, against 
the wall, as if to forestall the possibility of being 
knocked backwards by the communication that was 
to be spiade to him i a^d, hafi^ig s\f alloweod %h liquor 
with his eyes fixed on the messenger, and bis fac« ai 
pak as his face cpuld be,.reque^^ hint to **hekYe 
ahead.". 

y Do y^u ro^a% tell y^axy CapCamil " asked Kct^ 
who had beep greatly impressed by ihesi precaiitions. 

^ Ay 1 " said tb^ Captam., 

" Well,.sir," said Rob, "I ain't got much to tell. 
But look here ! " : . • . 

, Rob produced a; buixlle of key a, The Captain 
surveyed th^m«,i;emain^ in. his corner, and surveyed 
Uie messei)iger« 

<< And look here ! 'V pursued Rob. 

The i>oy* produced a sealjsd packiH* whv:h Captaia 
Cuttle stared, at as he had. stared at the keys. 
. " When I woke d>is morning, C^^taip,'.' -said Rob, 
** which was about 4 quarter >af$er £ve, I found these 
on my piUow. The shopnlpor was unbolted and 
unlocked, and Mr. Gills gone." 

" Gone ! " jco^red the Captaipnu 

." Flowpd, sir," returned Rob» 

The Captain's voice, was ao tremendous, and he 
came out of ^is* cofner «w^ soph way on hin^ that 
Rob retreated before him into o^^noliber corner; holdr 
ing Qut the keys and pi|ck«t, tp prevent himself £com 
bping run down. 

*•* For Captain Cuttle,' sir," cried rRol^ /* is on 
the keys, and on the p^cjket; too^. Upon. ^y. word 
apd honour. Captain Ci^le, I. dfjia't know tiythii^ 
mor^.abou^ it. , J wish I may idie if I^dq ! Here'^ 
a sitinyation for .a lad tbat^s just got a sitiwation," 

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POUBXV AND SON 97 

cried the anfortmiate Grinder, acrewing his cuff mto 
hia &ce r f ' his, jpiaster, bolted with his places and him 
bl^mciedfor it! "... . 

These lamentations had reference to Captain Cuttle's 
gaze, or rather glare^ which was full of Y^gue sus* 
picions^ threatenings^ and deniinciations^ Taking . the 
proffered packet from his hand,^ the Captain opened 
it and re^ as follows : — . , 

.«*«% dear Ned Cuttle. Enclosed is my Will!*'* 
The Captain turned it Qrver» with a donbtnil look — 
"<aiKl Testament.' — Where's the Testament?.'' said 
the Ca^ptau^mstantly impeaching. the ill-fated Grinder* 
" What ha,ve you done with that, nay lad ? " 

" /never see it," whii^pered Rob. " Don't keep 
on. suspecting an innocent l^d» C^tain. / never 
touched the Testament." 

Captain Cattle shook his h^ady implying, that some- 
body nmst be made answejable fpr it ; ^ gravely 



" * Which don't, break open for a year, or until 
you. have decisive intelligence of my dear Walter* 
who is dear ito you, j^led, too, | ^ suj??.' " The 
Captain paufod and shook his jiead in some emotion ; 
then,.as .^/e-establishmeaqt of his dignity in this try- 
ing position, looked with exceeding sternness at the 
Grinder. *• « If you shouM never hear of me* or see 
me more, Ned^ ren^(;mbe;r an old friend as he will 
remember you to the last — kindly ^ and at least until 
the period I have .mentioned has expired, keep a 
home in the old place for Walter. There are no 
debts, the loan from Dombey's ho^8e is paid off, and 
all nby keys I send with this. Keep this quiet, and 
make n|c5inapi^. for. ^e ; it is useless. §0 no' f)nore, 
dear Ned, frpm yolur true ftiend, Solomon Gills.' " 
The Captain took a long breath, and thep read. these 

II. H 

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98 DOMBBr ANb §6M 

words,' written below : ^ * Tie boy Rob, well re- 
commended, as I told you, from Dombey's house. 
If all else should come to the hammer, take care, 
Ned, of the little Midshipman/ " , 

To convey to posterity any idea of the manner in 
which flie Captain, after tumi% this letter over and 
over, and reading it a score of times, sat down in his 
chair, and held a court-martial on the sub}e9t in his 
own mind,Vo\Ud require the united genius of all the 
great men, who, discarding their own untbwatd days, 
have determined to go dbiRm to postierity, and liave 
never got there. At first the Captain was too much 
confounde4 and distressed to think of tinything but 
the letter itself; ^d even when his thoughts began 
to glance upon the various iattendant facts, they ihight, 
perhaps, as we^l have occupied themselves with their 
former tjiieme, for any light they reflected on them. 
In this state of niind. Captain Ctfttle having iiie 
Grinder before the court, and no ,one else, fomid it 
a great rdief to decide,' gen^rallyj that he' Vas an 
ob^ct'of suspidbn; which the Captain so clearly 
expressed in ftis'vjsige, that Rob remonstrated. 

« Oh, don't, Capt^n ! '* cried the Grmder. ^l 
wonder' how 'you can! wiiat have I done to be 
Idoked at, like that ?'* "' 

« My lad,".sai4 Captain Cuttle, ** don't you sing 
out afore, you're hurt. And doti't you commit your- 
self, whatever you do^" 

"I haven't been rfnd committed nothing, Cap- 
tain ! " answered Rdb. ' ' 

" Keep her free, then," said the Captkih, impres- 
sively, ** and ride easy." . ' 

With a deep sense of the responsibility imposed 
upon him, arid the necessity of thoroughly fathoming 
this mysterious affair, as became a man in his rda- 

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DOMBBY AND SON 99 

tiom With the parties^ Captain Cuttle resolved to go 
down and examine the premises^ and to keep die 
Grinder Irith him. Considering that yoath as under 
arrest at present, the Captain was in some doubt 
whether it might not be expedient to handcudP him, 
or tie his ankles together, or attach a weight to his 
legs, but not bdng clear as to the legality of such 
formalities, the Captain decided merely to hold him 
by the shoulder all the way, and knock him down 
if he made any objection. 

However, he made none, and consequently got to 
the instrument-maki^r's house< without being placed 
under any more stringent restraint. As the shutters 
were not yet taketi down, the <]!aptain's first care was 
to havetheishop bp^ed ; and when the dayl^ht was 
freely admitted, he proceeded, widi its aid, to further 
investigation; 

The Captain's first care Was t6 establish himself 
in a chair in the shop, as presideftt of liie solemn 
tribunsd ihat was sitting within him ; and to require 
Rob to lie down in his bed Under the counter, show 
exactly where he discovered tiie keys and'^cket 
when he awoke, how he found tfce. door when he 
went to try it, how he started off to Brig Place—- 
cautiously preventing the latter imitation S'om being 
carMd farther than the threshold-Hand so on to the 
end of the chapter. When all' this had been done 
several times, ^e Captain shook his head and seemed 
to think the matter had a bad look. 

Ntet, the Captain, witiv some indistinct idea of 
finding a body, instittited a strict search over the 
whole hou(ie ; gropiikg in the cellars with a lighted 
candle, thrusting his hook behind doors, bringing his 
head into violent contact with beams, and cbvering 
himself with ibbwebs. Mounting up to the old 

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too OOMBEY AND^ SON 

man's bedi-ooniy thtj found thsU^ be had not been in 
bed on the preyiotts night, but had merely lain down 
on the coverlet, a» waa evident from the impression 
yet remaining there. 

^ And /think, Captain," said Rob^ looking round 
the room, ** that when Mr. Qills was going in and 
out so ofiten, these last few days, he wiis >taking little 
things away, jnecemeal, .not>to attract attenticMi." 

" Ay ! *' said'the Captain, mysteriously. ** Why 
so, my lad?" 

** Why," returned Rob, looking about^ « I don't 
see his having tackle. Nor his. brushes^ Captain. 
Nor no ^irts* Nor yet his shoes." 

As each of tihese articles was mentioned. Captain 
Cuttle took pnticQlar notice of rthe corresponding 
department of the Grinder, lest he should appear to 
have been in recent use, or ^ould prove to be in 
present possession thereof. Bu^ Rob, had no occa- 
sion to shaive, certainly :wa8 no( brushed^ and wore 
the clothes he had ^ocn f(ir a Jong tune past, ^^yond 
all posBibiUty .of mistuke. ; 

.*^ And what ahoudd yoH say,", said the Captain — 
** not comnDkittiDg yoivsel£-^-about bis time of cheering 
off? . Mey?f' . : ^ 

*< Why, I think« Captain," returned Rob, « that he 
most have gone, pretty soon ^after I began to snoce." 
'.^♦What o'clock- ^as that?" said the Captain, 
|>repared to be very particular, about the exact time. 

« How can I tell,.Capcam! " answered iRob. " I 
only kxiow that I'm a heavy sleeper at firs^.and a 
light one towards, mprning ; apd if M^. Gills had 
come 4;hrough. the shop near daybreak, though ever 
so I much on tip-toe, I'm {^etty sure I should have 
heard Jhim shut the door .at all events." 

On mature consideration of this evidence, Qaptain 

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DOMBEY^ AND SON lot 

Cutlle began to think that the instnimeBt-maker must 
have Yanish^ of his own accord; to which logical 
coocloston he was assisted by the letter ^addressed lo 
himself, which, as being unquestionably in the old 
man's hand^wridng, would seem,with no great forcing, 
to bear the' construction, that he arranged of his own 
will, to go, and so went. The'Captain had next to 
consider where and why ? and as there n^as nO way 
\(rhatsoever that he saw to the solution of the first diffi- 
culty, he confined his meditations to the second. 

Remenibering the old man's curious, manner, and 
the Jewell he had taken of him : unaccountably 
fervent at the time, but quite intelligible now: a 
terrible apprehension strengthened ah the Captain, 
that, overpowered by his anxieties and regrets for 
Walter, he had been driven to commit suicide. Un- 
eqUid to the wear and tear of daily life, as he had 
often jx'ofessed himself to be, and shaken as he no 
doubt was by the uncertainty and deferred hope he 
had undergcme^ it seemed no violently strained mis- 
giving, but only too prabaUe. 

Ftee from d^bt, and with no feat for his personal 
liberty^ or the seizure of his goods, what else but such 
a state of madness could have hurried him away alone 
atid secredyi As to his carrying some apparel with 
him^ if he had really dcMie so— andthey were not even 
sure of that-^e nnght have done «o, the Captain 
argued, to prevent inquiry, to distract attention from 
his^ probable ^te, or to ease the very mind that was 
now revolving all these possibilities* Such^ reduced 
into plain language, and condensed within a small 
compass, was the final result and substance' of Captain 
Cattle's deliberations; which took a long time to 
arrive at this pass, and were, like some more public 
deliberations, very discursive and disorderly. 

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I02 DOMBSy AND SON 

Dejected and despondent in the extreme. Captain 
Cuttle felt it just to release Rob from the arrest in 
which he had placed him, and to enlarge hun, 
subject tp^ a kind of honourable inspection which he 
still resolved to exercise ; and having, hired a man, 
from Brogley the broker, to sit in the shop during 
their absence, the Captain, taking Rob with him, 
issued forth upon a dismal quest after the mortal 
remains of Solomon Gills. 

Not a station-house or bone-house, or work-house 
in the metropolis escaped a visitation ^om the hard 
^zed hat. Along the wharves, amoqg idie shipping 
on the bank-side, up the rivier, down the river, here, 
there, everywhere, it went gleaming where men were 
thickest, like the hero's helmet in an. epic batde. 
For a whole week, the Captain read of all the £ound 
and missing people in all the newspapers and hand- 
bills, and went forth on expeditions ^^^1 hours of 
the d^y to identify Solomon Gills, in poor litde jsbip- 
boys who had fallen overboard, and in tall fbreigoers 
with dark beards who had l^kep poisoi^ — ^'^^ to make 
sure," Captain Cuttle said, ^ that it waiii't him." 
It is a sure thing that it^ never was, and that the good 
Captain had no other .satisfaction. 

Captain Cuttle at last abandoned these attempts as 
hopeless, and set himself to cpnsider what was to be 
done next. After several new perusals of his poor 
friend's letter, he considered that the ,inaintenaiice 
of '> a home in the old place for Walter" was the 
primary duty imposed upon him* Thereforje^ the 
Captain's dei^ision was, that he would keep house oa 
the premises of Soknaon Gills himself, and would 
go into the instrument business, and see what came 
ofk. 

But as this step involved the relinquishment of 

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PQMBEY AND SQH 103 

his a;panaientA at Mi^ l/lsLcStinger% and he knew 
that resolute woman would iv^yer hear of his desert^ 
ing them, the Captain took the desperate determin- 
ation of running away. 

*• Now, look ye here, my lad»" said the Captai^ 
to Rob, when he had matured this .notable scheme, 
** to-mojcrow, I shan't be found jn this h^e road- 
stead till night^^not till arter midnight p'rhaps. 
But you keep watch till yiou he^ me knock, and the 
moment you do, turn-to, and open the door." 

** Very good. Captain," sai^ Rob. 

** You'll continue to be rated oh this here books," 
pursued the Captain, condescendingly, << and I dqn't 
say but what you may get4>romotion, if you and n\e 
should pull together with a will. But the moment 
you hear me knock to-morrow night, whatever time 
it is^ tum-to an^ show yourself smart with the door." 

" I'll be sure to 4o it, CapUin, "replied Rob. 

** Because you understand," resumed the Captain, 
coining back again to enforce this charge upon hi^ 
mind, *^ there may oe, for anything I can say, a 
chase ; and I might bet took while I was waiting, if 
you didn't show yourself sqiart with the door." 

Rob again assured the Captain that he would be 
prompt aiKl wakeful ; and the C^iptain having made 
this prudei^ arrangeq^t^ vifent home to Mrs^ Mac- 
Stinger's for the last time. 

The. sense th^ Captain had of its being the last 
time, and of the awful purpose hidden beneath his 
blue waistcoat^ inspired him with such a mortal dread 
of Mrs. MacStinger, that the sound of that lady's 
foot down stairs at any time. of the day» was sufficient 
to throw him into a fit of trembling. . It fell out, too^ 
that Mrs. MacStinger waa.in a chafrming. temper^ — 
mild and placid .^ a house-lamb; .^^^d Captain 

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I04 tiOlIBBY AND SON 

Cuttle's conscience suffered terrible twnige>» when 
she came up to inquire if she could cook liim nothing 
for his dinner. 

**A nice small kidney-puddbg now, Cap'cn 
Cutde/' said his landlady s <'or'a sheep's heart 
Don't mind my trouble." 

•* No thank'ee, ma'am/' returned the Captain. 

** Have a roast fowl/* said Mrs. MacStinger, 
** with a bit of weal 'stuffing and some tgg; sauce. 
0>me, Cap'en Cutde ! Give yourself a little treat ! " 

** No thank'ee, ma'am,^' returned the Captain 
very humbly. 

*^ I'm sure you're out of sorts, and want to be 
sdmilated,'.' said Mrs. MacStinger. «*Why not 
have, for bnce in a way, a bottle of ftherry wine ? " 

« Well, ma'am,'* rejoined the Captain, «« if you'd 
be so good as take a glass or tw6, 1 ihitak I would 
try that. Would you do me the favour, ma'am," 
said the Captain, torn to pieces by his conscience, 
«* to accept a Quarter's rent ahead f " 

«« And why so, Cap'en Cuttle ? '* retorted Mrs. 
MacStinger— sharply, as the Captain thought. 

The Captain was frfghtened to death. ' *^ Tf you 
would, ma am," he said with ^bmission, <* it would 
oblige me. I can't keep my money very welk It 
pays itself out. I should t^ke it kind if yoii*d 
comply." 

« Wefl, Ckp'en Cuttle," said the unconscious 
MacStinger, rubbing her hands; *^ you 'can do as you 
please. It'6 ncft for me, with my fkmily^ to refu^, 
no more than it is to ask." 

**And would you, ma'am," said the Captain, 
taking down the tin canister in which he kept his 
cash, fi-oip the top shelf of the Cupboard, <« be so 
good as oifer eighteen-pence a-piece to the fittle 

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DOHBBY AND SON 105 

family aU round f - If you could make it conyeni<hit, 
ma^^m, to pass the word presently for them children 
to c^nne for'ard, in a body, I lAiorM be glad to see 
cm.. 

These innocent MacStingers were so many 
daggers to the Captain's breast, when diey ajipeared 
in a fliwiarm, and tore at him with the confiding 
trustfulness he' so little deserved. The eye c? 
Alexander MacStinger, who had been his farourite, 
was insupportable to the Captain; the vcite of 
Juliana MacStinger, who was the picture of her 
mother, made a coward of him. 

Captain Cuttle k^ up apjiearances, nevertheless, 
tolerably well, and for an hour or two was very 
hardly used and roiigKly handled by the young 
MacStingers: who, in their childish frolics,- dtcf a 
little damage also to the glazed hat, by sitting in it, 
two at a time, as in a nest,' and drumming on the 
inside df the crown whh' their shoes. At length 
the Captain ^froWfiilly dismissed them t taking 
leave of these cherubs with the poignant remorse 
and grief of a man who was gfaing to execution. 

In the silence of night, the Captain packed up his 
heavier J)roperty 'in- a chesty ntdiich he locked, 
intendihg -to leave it there, in all probability for ever, 
btit on the ^Grrlofn chance of one day finding a mtin 
sufficiently bold and desperate to come and ask' for 
it. Of his 'lighter necess^es, the Captain made a 
bundle; and disposed' his plate about his p^rsota, 
reAdy for flight. At the hour of midtiight, whetf 
Brigf Place was buried m slumber, and Mrs. Mac- 
Stinger was lulled in sWeet obHvion, with h<*r 
infants aroiind her, the guilty Captain, stealiiig down 
on tiptoe, in the dark, opened the door, closed it 
softly after hinfi^ and' took to his heels. 

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io6 DOMBEY AND 60N 

. Purmied by the image of Mn* MacStmger 
ringing out of bed, and, regardless of costumey 
following and bringing him back ; pursued alao by 
a consciousness of his encNinous crime ; Captain 
Cattle held on at a great pace, and allowed no grass 
to grow under his ket^ between Brig Plage and the 
instrument-maker's door. It ope^ when he 
knocked — ^for Rob wsifi on the watch — and when it 
was bolted and locked behind him, Qiptain Cuttle 
^It comparatively safe. 

** Whew ! " cried the Captain, looking round 
him, " it's a breather ! " 

** Nothing the mattier, is there, Capuin ? " cried 
the gaping Rob. 

** No, no ! " said Captain Cuttle, after changing 
colour, and listening to a passing footstep in the 
street. << But mind ye, my lad ; if any lady* except 
either of them two as you see t'other day, ever 
comes and asks for Cap'en Cuttle, be sure to rq>ort 
no person of th^ naipe known, nor never heard of 
here ; observe them orders, will ypu ? " 

** I'll take care, Captain," returned Rob. 

** You might, say — ^if you liked," hesitated the 
Captain, *^ that you'd- read ii^^ the paper that a 
cap'en of that naipe was gone to Australia, em^grat- 
ix^, along with a whole ship's complement of people 
as had all swore never to come back n^ more." 
. Rob nodded bis understanding of . these in- 
structions ; and Captain Cu^I^ promising to make a 
man of him, if be obeyed orders,^ dismissed him, 
yawning, to his bed i^e^ the. counjter, and went 
aloft to the chamber of Solomon Gills. 

What the Captain suffered next day, whenever a 
bonnet passed, or how often 1^ daipted out of- the 
shop to elude im^inary M^icStingers, and sought 

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DOMQEY AND SON 107 

safety m. th^ atdq, cannot be told. But to avoid 
the .iktigues atteiidant on this mewis of self* 
preservation, the Cs4>tain curtained the glass door of 
communication between the shop and padour, 00 
the inside, £t|;ed a k^y to it firom the. bunch that 
had be^ sent to him: and cut a small hole of 
e^al in the wall. The advantage of this fortifica*' 
tion is obvious. On a boaihet appearing, the Captain 
instantly sUpped into his garrison, locked himself up» 
and took a secret observation of the eaemy. Find- 
ing it a £dse alarm* the .Captain instantly slipped 
out again. And the bonnets in the street were so 
very numerous, and alarms were so inseparable 
from their appearance, that the Captain was almost 
incessantly slipping in and out all day long. 

Captain Cuttle found time> however, in the midst 
of this fatiguing service to inspect the stock; in 
connexion with which he had the general idea (very 
laborious to Rob) that too mucK friction could^t 
be bestowed upon it, and that it could not be made 
too bright. He: sdso ticketed a few, attractive- 
looking articles at a venture, at prices ranging from 
ten ^lillings to fifty pounds, and exposed, them in 
the window to the great astonishment of the public* 

After effecting, these improvements, Captain 
Cuttle, surrounded by the instruments, ()egan to feel 
scientific ; and lo9ked up at the stars at night, 
through the skylight, when he was smoking his pipe 
in the little back-parloiir before gcjng. to bed,) as if 
he had established a kind of property in thepi. As 
a tradesman in the City, too, he began to have an 
interest in tHe Lord Mayor, and the SheriiFs, and 
in Public Companies ; and felt bound to read the 
quotations of the Funds every day, though he was 
unable to make out, on any principle of navigation. 

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lot DOMBET AND SOH 

what the figures meanty and conld'haTe rtrj well 
dispcnaed vMk die fracdont. Florence, the Captain 
waited on, with his Strang news of Uncle Sol, 
immediately afta* taking possesaon of the Midship- 
man; but she was away from home# So the 
Qiptain sat himsdf down iii his altered station of 
hie, with no company but Rob the Grinder ; and 
kising count -of time, as men do when gr^at changes 
come npon them, thought musingly of Walter, and 
of Solomon Gills, and even of Mrs. MacStinger 
herself, as among die things that had been. 



Chat)tcr XXVI 

SHADOWS or THE ^AST AMO niltmE . 

" X^OUR roost obedient, sir," said the Major. 
I <* Damme, * sir, a fneod of my friend 
Dombey^s is a friend of mine, and I'm glad to see 
you}'' 

<* I am infinitely obliged, Carker," explain^ Mr. 
Dombey^'^^ to Major Bagstock, for his company 
and conversation. Major Bagstock has rendered 
me great service, Carker." ' . 

Mr. Carker the Manager, hat in hand, just 
arrived at Leamington, taid just introduced to the 
Major, showed the Major his whole double range of 
teeth, and trusted- he mighf take the liberty of 
thanking h^m widi sdl his heart for Having efTected 
sd, great ^n iihprovement in Mr. t>ombe>^'s looks 
and spirits. 

**By Gad, sir," said the 'Major, in reply, 
*^ there are no thanks due to me, for it's a give and 

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DOMBBY AND SON 109 

take affair., A great creature like our frieod 
Dombey, sir," said the Major, lowering, his yoice, 
but not lowering it; so much as to render it inaudible 
to that gentleman, ^* cannot help improviog and 
exalting his fi^iends. He strengthens and invigorates 
a man^ sir, does Dprnbry, in Us qik^ natpre.'^ 

Mr. Carker snapped at the expression. In his 
moral nature. Exactly^ The yery words h^ had 
been op the jowx of suggesdng. 

** But when my fi'iend Dombey, sir," added the 
Majof, " talks to yo» of Major Bagstock, I must 
craye leaye to set him and you right. He aaftani 
plain Joe, sir^ — Joey B.-r-Josb Bagstpck — Joseph 
-r-rou^ and tough 0|d J.| sir.. At your seryice." 

Mr. Cai;k?r'8 excessiyely friendjiy inolinations 
towards 'the Major, and Mr. Cswker's admiration 
of his roughne^ tpughne^i and plainness, gleamed 
out of eyery tooth. in Mr. Carker'iS head. 

*^ And now, nr," said the Major, ** you aqd 
Dombey haye the de^^'s own amount of busiofcss to 
talkoyei>" , . '• 

« By no means, Major," obseryed Mr. I)ombey« 

** Dombey," jsaic) the: Major 4^fiaotly, **l know 
better,;} a 9ian of yopr pnark — the Colossus of 
commence — jm ppt U> be interrupted* Your moniqnt9 
are: precious. ,We shall meet at dinner-time. In 
the interyal, old Joseph will be scarce. The ^dinner 
hour is a sharp seyen, Mr. Carker." 

With that, the Major,, greatly swollen as .tQ his 
face, withdrewe; < but immediately putting in his 
head at the door again, said : : . 

** I beg your pardon. Dombey, haye you any 
message to 'em ? ' V 

Mr* Dombey in some cmb^assment, and not 
without a glance at the cqarteous Jl^eeper of. hi^ 

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tio DOMBEY AND SON 

Inisiness confidence, intrusted the Major with his 
compliments. 

« By the Lord, sir,** said the Major, •* you must 
make it something warmer than that, or Old Joe 
will be far from welcome.*' 

" Regards then, if you will, 'Major," returned 
Mr. Dombey. 

** Damme, sir,** said the Major, shaking his 
shoulders and his great cheeks jocularly : ** make it 
something warmer than that.*' 

** What you please then, Major," observed Mr. 
Dombey. 

' "dur friend is sly, sir, sly sir, d^vili^ "ty/* 
said th^ Major, staring round the door dt Carker. 
** So is Bagstock." But stopping in the nlidst of a 
chuckle, and drawing himself up to his fVdl height, 
the Major solemnly exclaimed, as he struck himself 
on the chest, *• Dombey ! I pxvy your feelings. 
God bless you ! *' and withdrew. 

*♦ You must have found the gentleman a great 
resource," said Carker, following him with his 
teeth. 

** Very great indeed," said Mr. Dombey. 

** He has friends here^ no doubt," permed 
Carker. •* I 'perceive^ from what he has ssdd^ that 
you go into society here. Do you know," smiling 
horribly, ** I am so very glad that you go into 
society ! " 

Mr. Dombey acknowledge^ this display of 
interest on the paft of his second in command,' by 
twirling his watch-chain, and slightly moving his 
head. 

••You were formed foi* society,'^ saki Carker. 
« Of all the men I know, you are the beilt ada^i^ted, 
by natui^, and by position, ' for society. Do you 

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DOMBEY ANt> SON fti 

knoiv I have been frequently ainazed that you 
should hare held it at armVlength so long ! '* 

** I have had my reasons, Carker. I have been 
alone, ami indifferent to it. But you have great 
social qualifications yourself, and are the more likely 
to have been surprised." 

«*Oh! //" returned the other, with ready 
self-4i8paragemenL ** It's quite another matter in 
the case of a man like me. I don't come into 
comparison with you^^ 

Mr. Dombey put his hand to his neckcloth, 
settled his chin in it, Coughed, and stood looking at 
his faithftd friend and servaii't for a few- moments in 
silence. 

** I shall have the pleasure, Carker," said Mr. 
Dombey at length : making as if he swallowed 
something a little too large for his throat : ** to 
present you to my — to the Major's friends. Highly 
agreeable people." 

«* Ladies a'mofig them, I presume?" insinuated 
the smooth Manager. 

*« They are dl-i— that is to say, they are both-^ 
ladies," replied Mr. Dombey. 

« Only t«r<y? " smiled Carker. 

** They are only two. I have .confined my 
visits to their residence, and have made no other 
acqukintance here." 

«* Sisters, perhaps.?." quoth Carkerl 

** Mother and daughter," repKed Mr. Dombey. 

As Mr. Dombey dropped his' eyes, and adjusted 
his neckcloth igain, the smiling face of Mr; Carkef 
the Manager became in a moment, and without any 
stage of transition, transformed into a most intent 
and froDifning face, scanning his closely, and with an 
ugly sneer. As Mr. Dombey raised his eyes, it 

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iiA OQMBEY AND SOV 

changed h^kf oo lees qoicUyy to its ol4 ,expre8a<]i^ 
and showed: him eycry gum of whick it stood 
possessed. 

" You are very kind,** said Carker, *• I shall be 
deli^^ted to know them. Speaking of daughters, I 
have seen Miss Dombey.'* 

There was a sudden rush of blood to Mr. 
Dombc;y's face.. 

f* I took the liberty of waiting onjiei*/* said 
Carker» ** to inquire if die could charge me with any 
little commission. I am not so fortunate as to be 
the bearer of any but her — hat her dear love.*' 
. WqITs face that it was then, with even tjbe hot 
tongue revealing itself through the stretched mouth, 
as jthe eyes encountered Mr, Dombey's ! 

« What business intelligence is. there ? ** ioqnired 
the latter gentleman, after a silence^ during which 
Mr« Carker had.produced some memoranda and 
otherpapers. 

" There is y?3ry little/' fetumed Carker. «* Upon 
the whole we have not had our usual good fortune 
Qf«late9 but that is of little moment to ypu. At 
Lloyd's, they give up the , {Son and Heir for hxi* 
Well, she was insured, from her keel to hex oiast- 
head/' ... . , .. : , 

."Carker," said ,^Ir. Dombey, taking a chair 
near him, " I cannot say that young n^n. Gay, 
ever impressed me favourably-^-- — " 

"Nor me," interposed the Manager. . 

" But I wish," said }^. ^Pqmbey,^ without h^- 
ing the interruption, ^' he had never gone on board 
that ship. I wish he had never, been sent outw." 

" It is 9: pity, you didn't s^y. so,, in good tim^ is 
it not?" retorted Carker, coolly. " Hoin^eycr, I 
think it's all for the best. ., I really think it's all fer 



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DOMBSY AND SON 113 

the best. Did I moition that there was something 
like a little confidence between Miss Dombey. and 
myself?'^ 

** No^" said Mr. Dombey, stemlv. 

«* I have no doubt," retmiied Mr. Carker, after 
an impressive pause, "that -wherever Gay is, he is 
nmcb bettor ivhece he is, than at home here. If I 
were, or covld be^ Sn your place, I should be satisfied 
of that. . I am. quite satisfied of it myself. Miss 
Dombey is confiding and young-^perhapa hardly 
proud ejQough,' for your daughter — ^if she have^ a 
fauk.. Not that.th^ is much though, I am aure. 
WilL.you check these balaacbs.with me ? 'V 

Mr. Dombey leaned back in his chair, instead of 
bending, over the papers that were Jaid before him, 
and looked the Manager. steadily in the face. The 
Manager, with his eyelids slightly raised, affected to 
be glaqcing at his figui«s, and to awak the kssure of 
his j^iQi^l. He sho^wed that he affected this, as 
if from great delidacy, and with: a desi^ to spare 
Mr. ^Dombey'^s feelings; and the latter, as he 
looked at him, was cognizant' of his intended 
confiideratioo, apd felt that but for it, this oonfi- 
dentil Carker would have, said a great deal more, 
which he^ Mr. Dombey, was too proud to ask for. 
It was his way. m business, o&m* Little by little, 
Mr». Dombey 's gaze reiax^, and his attention 
became diverted , to the papers before him ; but 
while busy with the occupation they afforded him, 
he frequently stopped^ and looked at Mr. Carker 
again. Whenever he; did so, Mr. Carker was 
demox^strative,. as beCcH'e, in his delicacy, and 
impressed it on his great chief more and more. . 

While they were thus engaged; and under the 
skilful culture of lAie Manager, ' angry thoughts in 
II. I 

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ii4 



OOM BEY AND SON 



i efcr tncc to poor Florence brooded and bred in Mr. 
Docnbey'i breast, usurping the place of the cold 
dislike diat generally reigned there; Major Bagsfeock, 
much admired bj the old ladies of Leamington, and 
fbllofved by the Native^ carrying the usual araount 
of light baggage, straddled aloi^ the shaciy aide of 
the way, to make a morning call on Mrs. Skewtoo. 
It being mid-day when die Major reached the 
bower of Cleopatra, he had the good fortune to 6iid 
his P r inc e ss on bar usual sofa, languishing over a 
cup of coffee, with the room so darkened and shaded 
for her more haorioos repose, that Witliers, who 
was in attendance on her, loomed like a phantom 

** What in s up por ta Me creature is this, coming in! ** 
said Mrs. Skewton. **l cannot bear it. Go 
away, whoever you are ! ** 

«YoB have not the heart to banish J. B., 
ma'am ! '' said the Major, halting nudwpay, to 
remonstrate, with his cane over his shoulder. 

** Oh it's you, is it ? On second thoughts, you 
may enter,'' observed Cleopatra. 

The Major entered accordingly, and advancing 
to the sofa pressed her charming hand to his lipa. 

« Sit down," said Cleopitra, listlessly waving her 
fan, **2i long way ofil Don't come too near me, 
for I am frightfully £lint and sensitive this riionung, 
and you smell of die sun^ You are aboolutely 
tropical." 

"By George, ma'am," said tht Major, ««the 
time has been when Joseph Bagstock has been 
grilled and blistered by the sun ; the time was, when 
he was forced, ma'am, into such full blow, by high 
hothouse heat in the West Indies, that he was known 
as the Flower. A man never IVeard of Bagstock, 

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DOMBBY AND SON ii$ 

ma'am, in those days ; he heard of the Flower — 
the Flower of Our& The Flower may have faded, 
more or less, ma'am," observed the Major, dropping 
into a much nearer chair than had been indicated by 
his cruel divinity, ** but it is a tough . plant yet, and 
constant as the evergreen.'^ 

Here the Major^ under cover of the dark room, 
shut up one eye, rolled his head like a harlequin, and, 
in his great self-iiatislaction, perhaps went nearer to 
the confines of apoplexy than he had ever gone before. 

«* Where is Mrs. Ckanger ? " inquired Cleopatra 
of her page. 

Withers believed she was in her own roonu 

«* Very well," said Mrs. Skewton. « Go away, 
and shut the door. I am engaged." 

Aa Withers disappeared, Mrs. Skewton turned 
her head languidly towards the Major, without 
otherwise moving, said asked him how his friend 
was. 

<< Dombey, ma'am," returned the Major, with a 
facetious gnrglmg in his throat, << is as well as a man in 
his condition can be. His condition is a desperate one, 
ma'am. He is touched, is Dombey i. Touched I " 
cried the Major. ** He is bayonetted through- the 
body." 

Cleopatra cast a sharp look at the Major, that 
contrasted forcibly widi the affected drawl in which 
she presently said : . - 

** Major Bagstock, although I know but Uttle of 
the world, — nor can I really regret my inexperience, 
for I fear: it is a false place: full oi withering 
conventionalities : where Nature is but little regarded, 
and where the music of the hearty and the gushing 
of the soul, and all that sort of thing, which is so 
truly poetical, is seldom heard, — I cannot roi8under<* 

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ii6 DOMBBV AND SON 

staad your meaniog. There it an allusibii to Edith 
-*to my extremely dear child/' said Mr8« Skewton, 
traciog the oudine of her eyebromra with her fore- 
finger, *^ in your words,^ to which the tenderest of 
chords vibrates excessively." 

" Bluntness, ma'am," returned the Major^'^has 
ever been the characteristic of. the Bagstock breed. 
You arie right. Joe 2tdmits it." 

''And thatdlusiOD," pursued Cleopatra, << would 
involve one of the most-«-^if not poHtively tlte most^ 
to«c)iing, and thnlling, and sacred emotions of '^hich 
our sadly-fallen nature is susceptive, I conceive;'' 

The Major hud lus hand vtpon his lips, and' wafted 
a. kiss ta Cleopatra^ as if to identify the eniotK>n in 
question. 

<< I feel that I amiwes^L. I ^1 diat I am wanting 
in that energy^ Vhich should sustain a mamma : not 
to say a parent: oft 'lach. a. subject," said Mrs. 
Skewton, trimming her lips with the laced edge of 
her pocket-i^dkerchief ^ ^biitl can hardly approach 
a topic so excessively momentous to piy dearest Edith 
withost A feeling of faintness. Nevectheiess, bad 
man, as yoii have boldly remarked' upon it^ and as it 
has occasioned me great angmsh : " Mr^ Skewton 
touched her left side with her fan: <^I will not 
shsmk frdm ray duty." 

The Major, under cover ofthe dimness, swelled, 
and swelled, and rolled his purple face about, and 
winked his lobster eye» untd he fell into a fit of 
wheezmg^ which obliged him to rise and take a turn 
or. two about the room, before his fair friend could 
proceed. 

i^ Mr. Dombey," said Mrs. Skewtoo, when she 
at length 'resumed, ** was obliging enbngh, now many 
weeks ago, to do us the hdnour of visiting us )iq;e$( 

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DQMBEY AND SON 117 

in company, my dear Major, with youneUl I ac- 
knowledge — let me be opeivr— that it is myifailit^ to 
be the creature of impulse, and to wear my heart, as 
it wei:e,.oiit$idie. . I know my failing dii well. My 
enemy cannot know it better.' But I: am not^ peni- 
tent ; I would rather not be frozen 'by the heartkas 
world, and am content to bear this imputauon justlytf" 

Mra. Skewton arranged her tucker, pinched her 
wiry throat to give it a soft surface^ and. went on, 
with great complaciency. 

** It gave m^ (my dearest Edith too, I am sure)' 
infinite pleasure to receiirei.Mr* Dombey» As a 
friend of yours* my dear Major, we were naturally 
disposed to (^ prepossessed in his £i¥Our ; and I 
fancied that I observed an amount of heart in Mr. 
Dombey, that waa estcessi^selyirefteshing." 

<< Thef 6 is devilish little heart in Dombey now, 
ma'am," said the Major. 

<* Wretched man ! " cried Mrs, Sk^wloo, lookmg 
at kim languidly,r ** pcay be silent" 

«« J, B« is domby.maamy" said the Major. 

<<Mr« Dombey," pursued Cleopatni, smoothing 
the rosy hue upoti her cheeks* <* accordingly repeated- 
his visit ; and possibly finding some attraction in the 
simplicity and primiti^eness pf our itastes — lor • there 
is always fr charm in NaSure — ^it is So very sweet-** 
became one of our little circle 6very evening. Little 
did I think of tihe awful responsibility into which I 
{Juaged when I encour^ed Mr. Dombey-** ^ " 

** To b^t up thesQ quarters, ma'am," suggested 
Major Bagstock. 

"Coarse person!" said Mrs. : Skewton, "you 
smticipate my meamag* th^gh in odious language." 

Here Mrs. Skewton rested her dbqw on^e little 
table at her side, and suffering hec wrist, to droop in 

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If 8 DOMBBY AND SON 

what 8he considered a gracefbl and becoming manner, 
dangled her fan to and fro, and lazily admired her 
hand while speaking. 

^ The agony I have endured," she said mincingly, 
** as the truth has by degrees dawned upon me, has 
been too exceedingly terrific to dilate upon. My 
whole existence is bound up in my sweetest Edith ; 
and to see her change fi-ora day to day — ^my beauti- 
ful pet, who has positively garnered up her heart 
since the death of that most delightful creature. 
Granger — is the most affecting thing in the world." 

Mrs. Skewton's world was not a very trying one, 
if one might judge of it by the influence of its most 
affecting circumstance upon her; but this by the 
way. ' 

" Edith," simpered Mrs. Skewton, ** who is the 
perfect pearl o£ my life, is said to resemble me. I 
believe we are alike." 

** There is one man in the world who never will 
admit that any one resembles you, ma'am," said the 
Major ; ** and that man's name is old Joe Bagstock*" 

Cleopatra made as if she would brain the flatteter 
with her fan, but relenting, sitiikd upon htm and 
proceeded : 

** If my charming girl inherits any advantages 
from me, wicked one ! ": the Major was the wicked 
one : " she inherits also my foolish nature. She 
has'gr^at force of character — ^mine has been siaid to 
be immense^ though I don't believe it — but once 
moved, she is susceptible and sensitive to the fast 
extent. What are my feelings when I see her 
pining ! They destroy me." 

The Major advancing his double chin, and pursing 
up his blue lips into a soothing expression, affected 
the profoundest sympathy. 



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BOMBEY AND SON it^ 

««Tlie confideiice/' said Mrs. Skewton, <^that 
has subsisted between us— *tfae free deyeiopment of 
soul, and openness of sentinient-^s toudiing to think 
of.f We have been more like sisters than mamma and 
child.^' 

*<J. B/s own sentiment," observed the Major, 
** expressed by J. B. fifty thousand times ! '* 

** Do not intemipt, rode man ! " said Cleopatra. 
<*What are my feelings, then, when I find that 
there is one subject avoided by us ! That there is 
a what's his name--*a gulf — opened between us. 
That my own artless Edith is changed to mel 
They are of the most poignant description, of course." 

The Major left his chair, and took one nearer to 
the litde table. 

** From day to day I see this, my dear Major," 
proceeded Mrs. Skewfon. .^ From day to day I 
ficel this. From hour to hour I reproach myself 
for that excess of faith and trustfulness which has 
led to imch distresong consequences; and almost 
from minute to .minute, I hope that Mr. Dombey 
may expLtan himself, and relieve the torture I under- 
go, chichi is extremely wearing. But nothing 
happens, my dear Major ; I am the skve of. remorse 
— take care of : the coffee cup: you are so very 
awkward-'-my darling Edith is an altered being | 
and I really don't see what is to be. done, or what 
good creature I can advise with." 

Major Bagstock, encouraged perhaps by the 
softened and confidential tone into which Mrs. 
Skewton, after several times lapsing into it for a 
moment, seemed now to have subsided for good, 
stretched out his hand across the little table, and said 
with a leer, 

^ Advise with Joe, ma'am." 

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f20 DOMBEY AND SON 

•'^Then, you aggravating monster/' said Cleopatra, 
giving one Irand to die Major, and tapping his 
kmickles with li^ fan, whkh she held in the other: 
^'why don't ybu talk to inie? you know what I 
mean. Why don't you tell me something to the 
purposed" 

The Major laughed, and kissed the hand she had 
bestowed upon him, and laughed again, imm^isely. 

** Is there as much hear^ in Mr. Dombey as I 
gave him -credit for?" languished Cleopatra^ tenderly. 
« Do you think he is in earnest^ my dear Major? 
Would you recommend his being spoken .to, or his 
being left alone? Now tell me, like a dear man, 
what you would advise.'' I 

" Shall we marry him to Edith Granger, ma'am?" 
chuckled th^ Major hoarsely. 

'•^Mysteriour creature!" returned Cleopatra, 
bringing her fan ' to bear upon the Major's nose. 
" How can tcf^ marry him ? • 

*^ Shall we marry him to Edith Gk'anger, ma'am, 
I say ? " chuckled the Major again. 

Mrs. Skewton returned no answer in words, but 
smiled upon the Major with so much archness and 
vivacity, that that gallant officer considering hiodself 
challenged, would have imprinted .a kiss on her 
exceedingly red lips, but for her interposing the fan 
with a very winning and juvenile dexterity. It 
might have been in' modesty ; it might have been in 
apprehension: of some danger to their bloom. 

** Dombey, ma'am," said the Major, ** is a great 
catch.'* 

** Oh, mercenary wretch ! " cried Cleopatra, with 
a litde shriek, << I am ahocked." 

"And Dombey, ma'am," pursued die Major, 
thrusting forward hb head, and distending his eyes, 



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DOMBEV AMO SON 121 

'* is in earnest. Joseph says it ; Bagstock knows 
t ; J. B. keeps him to the riiark. Leave -Dombejr 
x> himself, ma'am. Dombey issafei ma'am. Do 
18 you haye done ; do no more ; ' and trust to J. B. 
For the end." 

<< You really think so, my dear Major I " returned 
Cleopatra, who had eyed him very cantiodsly, and 
rery searchingly, in sphe of her listless bearing. 

«* Snre of it, ma'am," rejoined the Major. 
^* Cleopatra the peerless, and her Antony Bagstock, 
will often speak of this, triumphantly, when sharing 
the elegance and wealth of Edith JDombey's estab- 
lishment. Dombey's rig^t-hand man, ma'am," said 
the Major, stopping abruptly in a chuckle, and be- 
coming serious, ** has arrived." 

<* This morning I " said Cleopatra. 

^* This morning, ma'am," returned the Major. 
** And Dombey's anxiety for his arrival, ma'am, is 
to be reficrred^'^take J. B«'s word for this ; for Joe 
is de-vilish sly "-^the Major Upped his nose, and 
screwed up one of his eyes tight : which did not 
enhance his native beanty — ^**to his desire that 
what is in the wind should become known to hin^ 
without Dombey's telling- and cdnsultii^ him. For 
Dombey is as proud, ma'am;" said the Major, ** as 
Lucifer." 

*• A charming quality," lisped Mrs* Skewton ; 
" reminding one of dearest Edith." 

"Well, ma'am," said the Majpr. «I have 
thrown out hints idready, and the right-4iand man 
understands 'em ; and I'll throw out more, before 
the day is done. Dombey projected this morning a 
ride to Warwick Castle, and to KenUworth,' to- 
morroW) to be preceded by a breakfast with us. I 
undertook the delivery of this invitation. Will you 

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122 DOMBSY AND SON 

honour us so far, ma'^n ? " said the Major, swelling 
with shortness of breath and slyness, as he produced 
a aote, addressed to the Honourable Mrs. SkewtoD, 
by fevour of Major Bagstock, wherein hers ever 
faithfully, Paul I)ombey, besought her and her 
amiable and accomplished daughter to consent to the 
proposed excursion ; and in a postscript unto which, 
the same erer faithfully Paul Dombey entreated to 
be recalled to the remembrance of Mrs. Granger. 

♦« Hodi ! " said Cleopatra, suddenly, «« Edith ! " 

The loving mother can scarcely be descried as 
resuming her insipid and affected air when die made 
this exclamation ; for she had never cast it off; nor 
was it likely that she ever would or could, in any 
other place than in the grave. But hurriedly dis- 
missing whatever shadow of earnestness, or faint 
confession of a purpose, laudable or wicked, that her 
face, or voice, or manner, had, for the moment, be- 
trayed, she lounged tmon the couch, her most insipid 
and most languid self again, as Edith eiitered the 
room. 

Edith, so beautiful and stately, but so cold and so 
repelling. -Who, slightly acknowledging the pre- 
sence of Major Bagstock, and directing a keen 
glance at her mother, drew back the curtain fixmi a 
window, and sat down there, looking out. 

"My dearest Edith," said Mrs. Skewton, 
** where on earth have you been ? I have wanted 
you, my love, most sadly." 

" You said you were engaged, and I stayed away," 
she an&wered, without turning her head. ' 

** It was cruel to Old Joe, ma'am," said the 
Major in his gallantry. 

** It ^as very cruel, I know," she said, still look- 
ing oulH— and said vtfkh such calm disdain, that the 

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DOMBEY AND SON 123 

Major was discomfited, sod could think of nochi^ 
in neply. 

<* Major Bagstocky my darling Edith/' drawled 
her modier, ** who is generally the most useless and 
disagreeable creature in the world: as you kno w ' " 

*^ It is surely not worth while, mamma,^' said 
Edith, looking round, *^ to observe these forms of 
speech. We are quite alone« We know each 
other." 

The quiet scorn that nit upon her handsome £ice 
— a scorn that esvidently lighted on herself, no less 
than them-^was so intense and deep, that her 
mother's, simper,' fi>r the instant, though of a hardy 
constitution, drooped before ic 

** My darling girl," she began again. 

''Not woman yet ? " said Edith with a smile. 

'♦How very odd you are to-day, my dear f 
Pray let me say, my love, that Major Bagstock has 
broioght "the. kindest of notes from Mr. Dombey, 
proposing that we should breakfast with him to- 
morrow, and ride to Waxpurick and Kenilworth* 
Will you go, Edith ? " 

*« Will I go ! " she repeated, tumihg ^ry red, 
and breathmg quickly as she looked round at her 
mother. 

" I knew you would, my own," observed the 
latter, cvelessly. ^ It is, as you say, quite a form 
to ask. Here is Mr. Dombey's letter, Edid»." 

" Thank you; I have no desire to read it," was 
her answer. 

"Then perhaps I had better answer it myself," 
said Mrs. Skewton, "though I had diought of 
asking jrotf to be my secretary, darHng." As Edith 
made no movement, and no answer, Mrs. Skewton 
begged the Major to- wheel her little taUe nearer, 

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114 DOMBBT AND SON 

waito set open the desk it caotamed^ and to take 
out pen and paper for her ; all which congenial ofices 
of gallantry the Major discharged, ' with much sab- 
mianaii and derotion. 

-^*Yo«r icgard% Edith, my dear^" said Mrs. 
Skewtoo, pausing, pen in hand, at the postscript 

<* What yoQ wiU, mamma," she answered^ inthout 
turning her head, and with snpreme indifference. 

Mrs. Skewum wrote what she would, without 
seeking for any more explicit directions^ and handed 
her letter to the Major, who recctTB^ it as a precioos 
charge, made a show of laying it near his heart, bat 
was fain to pot it in ^le pocket of bis pantalocHis od 
account of the insecurity of his waistcoat. Tbe 
Major then took a Tery polished and ehivafa'oas fare- 
well oCi both ladies, wlndi the elder one acknow- 
ledged in her usual manner, while the younger, 
sitting with her fiice addressed to the window, bent 
her head^o sligfady that it would hare been a greater 
compliment to the Major to have made no nga at 
all, and to. have .left bun to infer that he bad not 
been heard or thought of* 

<< As to alteration in her, sir^" mused the Major 
on his way back ; on which expedition — 'the after- 
noon being sunny and hot — ^he ordered the NstiTe 
and the light baggage to the front, and walked in the 
shadow of that expatriated priikce : << as to alteration, 
sir, and - pining, and so foilh, that won't go down 
with Joa^>h Bagstock. None of that, dr. It 
won't do here. But as to there being something of 
a division between 'em*-H>r a gulf asihemo^er cdls 
ft — damme, dir, that seems true enough* And it's 
odd enough!., Wjdl, airi" panted the Major, 
<< Edith Oraikger and Dombey are well matched; 
let 'em ii^t it out ! Bagstock backs the wintier ! ** 

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DOMBBY AND SON 115 

The Majdi^, by asking these latter words siloudy 
in the vigour of his dioaghts, cauted the unhappy 
Native to stop, and turn round, in the belief that he 
was personaUy addressed. Exasperated to the last 
degree by thta act of insobordinatioDy the Mlijor 
(though he was swelling with enjoyment of his own 
humour, at the moanent of its occurrence) iiofStandy 
thrust his *cane among : the NativeV ribs, and con- 
tinued to stir him up^ at short intervals, all the way 
to the hotel. >. 

Nor, wait ilie Major less exasperated as he dressed 
for diimef, during. which operation the dark servant 
uodei-weat the pelting. of a shower of miscdlaneoos 
objects, varying in site « from a boot t» a hairbrush, 
and iliCluding every Uiiiig that can»within his master's 
reach. For the Major plumed himself on having the 
Native- in a per&ctstateof drills and visited the least 
departure 6K>m strict discipline wish thiskind of fatigue 
duty. Add to this, that he maintaided the Nadve 
about his person- as a counter-irritant against the 
gout; and all other vexations,, mental as weU as 
bodily s and the Native would appear to have eartaed 
his pay-rr^hidi waa not large. 

At lec^, the Major .having disposed of d\ the 
missiks^ that: were coQv^ent to hishand, and having 
called the Native so many new names as must have 
given him great occasion to marvel at the resources 
of the E^ish kngusige, submitted to "have' his 
cravat .pu;( on } and'heiog dressed^ and finding him- 
self in a brisk flow of spirits after this exercise, went 
down stairs to enliven ^'Dombey" and his right- 
hand man. 

Dombey./«fas not y^ in the rooui, but the right- 
h^nd. nuui was there, and his dental treasures were, 
as usual, ready for the Major. 

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126 DOMBEY AND SON 

<< Well, «ir ! " taid the Major. '< How have yoo 
passed the tune niicc I had the happiness of meeting 
you i Have yoa walked at all ? " 

** A saunter of barely half an hour's duration," 
returned Carkcr* ^We have been so moch 
occuued«" 

«<fiusiaess» eh? '' said the Major. 

** A variety of little mattera necessary to be gooe 
through*'' re^plied Carker. ** But do yon know— 
this is quite unusual with me, educated in a distrost- 
ful school, and who am not generally c&posed to be 
coromunicative/' he said, bceaking <^, and speaking 
to a charming tone of frankness — ** bnit I fm quite 
confidential with you, MajDr Bagstock/' 

*< You do me honour, sir," returned the Major. 
"You may be." 

** Do you know then," pursued Carker, ** that I 
have not found my. fnend—- Mrr friend, I ought 
rather to call him-— *^" 

" Meaning Dombey, sir ? " cried the Major. 
" You see me, Mr. Carker, standing here ! J. B. ? " 

He was puffy enough to see,^Qd blue enough ; 
and Mr. Carker intimated that he had that pleasure. 
. ** Then you see a man, sir, who would go through 
fire and water to serve Dombey,'^ returned Major 
Bagstock* 

Mr. Carker smiled, and said he was sure of it. 
"Do you know, Major," he proceeded: "to re- 
sume where I left off: that I have not Ibund our 
friend so tytentive to business to-day, as usual ? " 

" No ? " observed the delighted Major. 

" I have found him a little abstracted, and with 
his attention di&posed to wander/' said 'Carker. 

"By Jove, sir," cried the Major, " there's a lady 
in the caae." 

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DOMBEY AND SON »7 

*< Indeed, I begm to beHeve there really is,'' 
returned Carker. " I thought you might be jesting 
mrhen you seemed to hint at it ; for I know you 
military men " 

The Major gave the horse's cough, and shook his 
head and shoulders, as much as to say, ** Well ! we 
ar-^ gay dogs, there's no denying." He then seized 
Mn Carker by the button*hde, and with starting 
eyes whispered in his ear, that ishe was a woman of 
extraordinary charms, sir. That she was a young 
"widow, sir. That riie was of a fine ftimily, sir. 
That Dombey was over head and ears in love with 
her, sir, and that it would be a good match on both 
sides ; for she had beaiity, blood, and talent, and 
Dombey had fortune; and what more could any 
couple have ? Hearmg Mr. Dombey 's footsteps with* 
out, the Major cut himself short by saying, that Mr. 
Carker would see her to«morrow morning, and Would 
judge for himself; iOkd between his mental excite- 
ment, and the exertion of saying all this in wheezy 
whispers, the Major sat gurgling in the throat and 
wat3ering at the eyes, until dinner was ready. 

The Major^ like some other noble animals, ex- 
hilMted himself to great adviantage at feedmg time. 
On this occasion, he shone resplendent at one end of 
the table, supported by the milder lustre of Mr. Ddm- 
bey at the other ; while Carker on one side lent his 
ray toother light, or suffered it to m(erge into both, 
as oceasion arose. 

During the first course' or two, the Major was 
usually grave ; for the Native, in obedience to general 
orders, secredy issued, collected every sauce and cruet 
round him, and gave him a great deal to do, in taking 
out the stoppers, and mixing up the contents in his 
plate. Besides which, the Native had private zests 

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uS DOMB^y AND SON 

apd flavours on a aide^table, wit^ which* the Major 
daily scorched himself; to say nothing of strange 
machines out of which, he (girted unknown liquids 
into the Major's drink. But on this occasion. Major 
Bagptock, even,4fnidst these many occupations, found 
Uofie to, be social ; and his sociality consisted in ex- 
cessive slysess for tbe behoof of Mr. Carker, and the 
betrayal of Mr. Dombfsy'js state of mind. 
- << JDiQmbey," said the Majpr, <fyou don't eat; 
what's the flatter ? " 

.'< Thank you/' retunied that gentleman, '*I am 
doing ,vef7 well ; I have m great appetite to-day." 

« Why, Dpn^y, what's become .of it,? *!= asked 
tie Major. " Where's it gon^ ? .Yon, havim't left 
it vdtfa our friers, {'U swear, for I can answer for 
their ^viog none to-day ^at luncheon. I can answer 
for one of 'em, at )e^ ; I won't say whifjv" . 

Then the Major winked at Carker, and became so 
frightfully sly, that his dark attendant wa9. obliged to 
pat him on tlbe back, without orders, 07 lie would 
probably have disam)eared under. the. table. , 

In a later stage of the dinnef : that is to- say, when 
the Native stood at th^ Major's elbow ready to serve 
the first bottle of champagnf^ : the Major became 
8|jll slyer. . 

:^* FjU thill to theibrin;^ you scoi^ndrely" said the 
Major, holding up his glass. , ''Fill Mr. .Canker's 
tp the brim too* And Mr. Dombey's too.. By 
Gad, gentlemen," said the Major, winking at his 
new friend, while Mr. Dombey looked into his plate 
with, a conscious air, ** we'll consecrate this glass of 
wine to a divinity whopa* Joe is proud to know, and 
at a. distance humbly and reverently to admire. 
Edith," said the Major, ''is her name; angelic 
Edith!" 

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DOH BET^ AND! SON i2f 

<'T6.angdic Edith 1 '^ cried the smiling Carkery 

^* Edith^iby all'ineaiifi/' said Mr.. Dombey. 

The entrance of the w«ters with new dishes 
caused the Major to be slyer yet, but in? a more 
serioiu ^yeini /< For>-. though, among ourselves^ Joe 
Bgigntockmii^les jest and earnest on this subject, 
sir," said the Major, ,kying hir £nger on his lips, and 
speakmg half apart, to Carker».<< he hoUfrthat mtene 
too sacf^ ti> be foadfljthe i>rop^y of these feUowii, 
or of aiiy;felloWB< Not a word, sir, while they are 
here!" 1/ ■ ' , • •• .. • . • 

This was cemctftd and >becomi]iig on the Major's 
part, and Mr. Dombey plainly idt it so. Although 
embarras^ in his oiwft iiagid wayv by tbe , Miijor's 
allusions, Mr. Dombey had no obj»:t»aii ao such 
raliyihgy it was cleilr,! but jrather. ccurted it^ P^hape 
the A^ijoff had beto pretty aear the tru^h, ,when iut 
had diyiilqdr^Ahat morning tha^ the gre^t man who 
was too haughty formally to consult with, or cbnfide 
in Ilia, prime mipister^ jon such a Qiattew yet wished 
him tc^he fiilly pfissessedrof it. . Let this be. how it 
may, he often glaiid»i-at. l^r.' Carker while, the 
Major filed •hia light artillery, and seened .watchful 
of itsimct«>on'lmit' > .i .J•^; • :!./^. •/' ' I ' 

But the Major, haying secured anrftltentii^ listcaier^ 
and a snvtt«r.who had liothb' match in all the lirorld 
— <<in short, JL de^sh intelligent ind agreeable 
fellaw,'*' as. be soften aftecwacda declal^-^W^•not 
going .toiietihim off with a little dynesa pmonal . to 
Mr^/Domh^* Thorefece, on the remoyalsofritbe 
clo^,. theiMajor deyeloped hinMe]f:as a. choli<;e .spirit 
in the broader and more comprehensive: range ^f 
narraitegidregimental storieG^^ani craoking mgimental 
jokes, whidi,ike.did with. such ^pcefdigal exiiberano^ 
th^ Carkerwas (dr feigned to be) quite^ exhausted 

II. K 

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130 DOMBEY AND SOU 

widk lattglitcr and ddmiFatioii: while Mr. Diombey 
looked on over hit starched cravat, like the Major's 
proprietor, or like a stately showmaa who was glad 
to see his bear dancing weU. 

When the Major was toa hoarse with meat and 
drink, and the display of his social powers, to render 
himsctf intelligible any longer, they adjonraed to 
coiTee. After which, the Major inquired of Mr. 
Cariier the Manager^ with little apparent h&pc of an 
answer in the affirmative^ if he')>layed ptcquet. 

** Yes, I play picquet a little," said Mr. Carker. 

M Backgammon, perhapi? " d»erved the Major, 
hesitating. 

«* Yes, I play backgamrnon a little, too," replied 
themanof teedi. < 

^Carker plays at all games, I believe,", saiid Mr. 
Dorabey, laying himself on a sofa Hke a man of wood 
without a hinge or a mot in ham ; ''and plays them 
well." > 

In sooth, he pUyed the two in question, to such 
perfection, that the Major was astoiashed, and asked 
him, at nmdom, if he ^fdayed cfaes^. 

^ Yes, I phiy chess a little," answered Carker. 
** I have sometimes jdayed, and>w6n a game^^^'s a 
mere trick-^wilhoiit seeing the board," 

<< By Gad, sir I " said the Maj6r, staring, ^you're 
a contrast to Dombey, who piays nothing*" 

<<Oh4 iAr/ " renamed the Manager. ^iTrhas 
never had occasion to acquire such little luts. To 
men like me, they are sometime us^bL As at 
present. Major Bagstock, when they enable me to 
take a hand with you." i 

It mi^t be only die false mouth, so' smoodi and 
wide; and yet there seemed to lurit, beneath the 
and subserviency of this short speech, a 

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DONBBY AND SON 131 

flomethiifg Jijke a marl; juk}, for a momeat, cm 
might have tjboi\ght that the white teeth were ^froof 
to bite th^ hand they Pawned upon. But the Makw 
thought nothing about; it ; and Mr. Domhey lay 
iiiedkiitii|g9..with hia eyea half shut^ during the 
whole of tfe< play, whkh Im^ until bed-<time, 

By that timcy Mr. C^ker, though thf winner^ had 
rooanted high into, the Major's good .opiiHQQ, insp- 
much that wbep hf^ Jeft the Major at his own room 
before going to bed* the Major, as a spc^cial attea- 
tiixi, sept th^ Hame — ^who always rested on a 
mattress spread upon th^ ground at his master's door 
— along the gallery, to light him t|i his room in 
state.-M . .. ' 

There was a faint blur on the surface, of the sairr^ 
in Mr. Carker'«r chamiier, ^sqd its reflection was, 
perhaps, a false one. But it $how^, that ni^t, the 
image of a m|m^ who saw, in his fancy, a crowd of 
pec^ slumberifig 00 the ground at hi* feet, Hke the 
poor Native at his. master'^ dqpf : who wked his 
way among them; loQkiiig down, maliciou Jy enough : 
but tipd up(ui tiQ upturned fai:e — ^as yet. 



Chaptw, XXVlI 

DEEPER SHADOWS 

MR« <!;ARKER 4he Mraager rose with the Isrk, 
and went out, Walkfa^ in- the summer day* 
His meditiitioAs-'M4nd he. medicated with contracfed 
brows while he strolled aioiigr^^iardly seemed to 
soar aahtghaa the lark, 6r to mount in that dinec- 
tion; rather they kept close to their nest upon the 

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i3a DOMBBY AND BON 

eflttthy'tflld looked about, among the dust aOd Worms. 
But 'twere was not a bird in the air, Maging unseen, 
feftli^ beyond the reach of human eye than Mr. 
Carker's thoaght6. He had ban face so perfectly 
under codtrol, that few eouM saiy mmt^m diadnct 
termsi 6f its' expression, than that it sntiled' or that it 
pofidered. It pondered now, btently. ^As the krk 
rose hfghier, he sank deepfei"' in t^ti^- As thie lark 
poured out her melody clearer ^atta stronger, he fell 
into a graver and profbundei' sileiice* At length, 
when the lark cdme headlong ddwn, wkh 'an actu- 
muladng stream of songf, and dropped ^mong the 
green wheM! n^af him, ripptitag in' the b^ath of' the 
morning like a river, he sprang up firom his reverie, 
and looked round widi a' sudden ^tnileias^' couiit^us 
and as soft iitf if he htid had numerous observers to 
pr6pitaate; nor did'h^ relapse, afte^ being thu« 
awakened; but clearing. '^his faee, like one who 
bethought himself t!hat it' might' 6fher^se wripkle 
and tell tales, went smiling on, as if fbr praetice. 

Perhaps with an eye to first im^x^^og^ Mr. 
Carker was very carefully taUd trimly dijessed; that 
morning. Though always somewhat formal, in his 
dress, in imitation of the great man whom he served, 
he stopped short of the extent of Mr. Dombey's 
stiffness : at once perhaps because he knew it to be 
ludicrous, and betaiise m ^ng sb he found another, 
means of expressing his sense of the difference and 
distance between them. Some peo|^e ^[uoted him 
indeed, id tliis respect, as <ii pdidied commentiik^ a^ 
not 'a flattering <One, on hit icy patron«^bat the ♦drld . 
is'ppone- to miscobstrocticMi, and Mf» darker was not 
accoumable Air its bad propensity. 
- C^ean and florid t with hia M^t compl^cioii, ^'• 
ing as it were, in the sun, and liis dainty step 

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enhancing ;the softness of the turf: Kr» Carkcr the 
Manager strolled aboiit meadows^ and green fanes^ 
and glided among avenaes of ttres, until ie wat.time 
to return to^lnreakfast.,- Taking a nearer >KMf back^ 
Mr. C^ker porsfed it^ Wl>g iu8 tfffth^ and aaad aloud 
as he did so» **1{qw to see the second Itm 

Dondjcy!" 

He had itrpUe^ beyond the.lp^vni and re«entefed 
it bjr a pleas^ walk, where there was a deep shade 
of Uafy trees, and where there were a Stw benches 
here and there for thope who chose to resL It not 
bemg a. place of, general resort 4t any hoiir» and 
wearing at that time ^ die' Mill morning the air of 
bqifig quite deserted and retir^ Mi* Carker had it, 
or thought he had it» all to himscl£ So» with the 
whim of an idle . man, to whom there yet neinatbed 
twenty nuQUtes for r]eaching »^ destination fcasily 
accefsible^jn ten, Mrr Carl^r duceaded the great 
bolea.of ^ trees, aqdit^^tpaan^gm and-oot^b^orfc 
this one 'and behind that, weaving a chain of foot* 
steps on the.4ewy gr^ut^i 

B^t Jbe/fbund he^ was mif taken in supposing there 
nn^.tukjape in the grov^ for as.he softly rounded the 
tnmk of one jarge tree» ,op which die «bdiiMe • bark 
wasksDtttdan4<>rf'lapjMBdl3te the' ^ide of a M^ 
noceros or some kindred monster of the ancient days 
before the^ F|(9fldf he f^iw-qn unexpcctdi figoce fitting 
on a beq^h near j at hand, about which,, ki another 
moment, he would JiaT^ wtHind th^ chain hk was 
making...' •-.'":' 

It was thai ^f >^ lady, elegnntiy dressed and very 
handsome, whos^ dark proud e]/tts were fixed upon 
the gri^aady »pA '^ whom some passion or struggle 
was raging. For as she sat looking dowhf she held 
a coiner of. hfer-: mid^ Kp within heci mduth, her 

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114 DOIIBBV AND SOM 

bott>m heavedy her nostril quiver^yher he^ trembled, 
iodignafit tears were on her (^leek^ and her foot was 
set upon the moss as though she would hare crashed 
it into nothing. And yet almost the self-same glaoce 
that showed him this, showed him the self-same kdy 
rimg with a scomfol air of wariness and lassitude, 
and turning away with nothing expressed in Bice or 
figure bat careless b^ttty suid' imperious disdain. 

A withered and very ugly old woman, dressed not 
so nraeh like a gip^ as like any* of that medley race 
of vagabonds who-tramp aboot the country, begging, 
and stealing, and l^kering, and Weaving rushes, by 
tumsyor all togeth^, had been Serving the lady, too ; 
for^as she rose, tijs second figure strangely confiroot- 
ing the €rst, scrilmbled' up from the ground — otti of 
it, it almost appeared — atid stood in S^ way. 

** Let me tell your lisrtune, my pretty lady,'' said 
the old womsifi, munchiiig with her jaWs, a^ if the 
Deadi's-head beneath her jreMow %kin wefl; impsftieDt 
to get outi f ' 

" I can tell it for myself/' was the reply. 

« Ay, ay, nretty lady ; but not right. You dWn't 
tdl it right when you WM ntting there. I s^yoa! 
Give me a piece of sitv^ef, ^etty lady, and FH tell 
yodr fortuBte tme. Therms riches, p-etty lady, m 
yourfece." » i > 

•«I know," returned die'llidy, passing her with a 
daHc smile, and a proud step. ^ I knew it before/' 

** What I You won't give be nothing ? " cried 
the old woman. ** You won't give me nothing to 
teH yoor fortune, pretty lacty ? How much will you 
give me 00/ to teH it, then f . Give me something, 
or ru cay it iirfter yon ! " croaked the old womno, 
pasHonately; 

:Mnr Carker, whom th(^ lady was about to past 

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DOMBEY AND SON 135 

close, flIiiikiiig.agaiiMt hu tree as $be crotsed to gaio 
the pa^ ad? 8Doed ta as to meet bcfy and puUiag off 
his hat as jhe went bj, bade the old wonaii hold her 
peace. The lady acknowledged his interference with 
an inclination of the head^ ml. went her war. 

«'You give UK ^onethiiw, then, or I'll call it 
after her 1 " screamed the old woman, thcowiqg up 
her arms, and presHug forward aganst has outstretched 
hand. ** Or conn^*' she added, dropping her voice 
suddenly, looking at him eames%, and seeming in A 
moment to forget the object of her wrath, ** gtre me 
something, or I'll call it -after jww / " 

«< After m^ old lady ! " returned the Manager* 
puttiqg his hand in hiss pocket.. . 

** Yes/' said the wman, steadfast in her scrataM 
and holding oat her shrif elled hand* **I know ! ' 

*«What d» yott knyw?" demaadcd Carker^ 
throwing her sl shilling. ,. **Do you know who thfe 
handsome lady k^* 

Mniichiiig lik^ that sailor's wife of j^ore, who had 
chestnuto in her lap* and scowling like the witch who 
asked £[>f some in tain, the old woman picked the 
shUling ttp,Andgoii^ backwards, Eke a crafa^ or like 
a heap of crabs : ibr her akemately expandUo^ md 
cootraedtig hands mi^t. have re pr cs en be d two of 
that ^ecies* «nd her creepmg fade, sone half a dozen 
more : crouched on the veinous. root of an old trc^^ 
palled Qttt ai short black pipe irom within the crown 
of her bonnet, lighted it widi a mafech, and smoked 
in silence, looking fixedfy at hec quesdooer* 

Mr* darker lai^hed, and turned «pon his hctL 

<«Goodil" said the' old woman. *<One chil4 
dead, and one child Hvfaig : one wife-dead, and one 
wifeconnng* Go atid meet h^r! " . 

In ^te of, himself* the Manager looked round 

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i3« DOMBBir AND SON 

agahiy and stopped. The old wonutfi, who had not 
rcmoTed hcr'p^)e) awi 'wm munching and rannbinig 
while she amokU, at ' if in conrersadoa with an 
invitiUe ^dniliar, pointed with ho* tingt^ in the 
direction he was goings and kaghcki. 

«What was that yotf said, Bedknuits ? '^ he 



The iroman iniMifalfd, aod^^hattercd^ and. smoked, 
and attil potnued befbiie him; boiiTemained siiett. 
Muttering a farewell' that was not con^limentary, 
Mr. Carker pursued his way ; but as he ttfrned out 
of that place, and looked over hb shoidder at the 
root of the old tree, he could yet «ee the finger 
pointing before him, and thotght he heard the 
woman scrduning, <* Go tfidiar«et her I '' ' 

PreparatSofis for a> choice repasirwene completed, 
he found, ^t die hotel ; and Mr. Dombey, and the 
Majors and the 'break£tot; were awaiting tlie ladies. 
Individual constitution has much to do with the 
development of sudb ^ets, no doubt; biititi this case, 

rAe carried. it hollow over t^e tender passion; 
Dombey being very eboland eoUected, and the 
Major firbtting and Ainmig'in a state <^ 'violent heat 
and irritntiDiw ^ At length the dodr was thrown opeo 
by the Nattvei ai^d^ afhnr' a^'paoie/ bccnpiitd- by her 
hu^shing' along .the gidiery,'a«Tery blooming, bat 
notveryyottdifal'hKLy, appeared, i^ 
♦ « My idenr Mr. Domfey,'^ said tht hdyi " I am 
afbiidriwd are, la«v but 'Edith has been out dready 
looking for a ifevoprabierpomt'efi view for si sketch, 
andke^iiiew^itifagrrfbrhcr/ 'Falseft of Majt^V 
giving'hinl her Knir fingbr, <«>hOW do ybuldo^? ^ 
> iy Mr8.'Skiewton,'' said Mr. 'B>otAMjr**Att me 
gratify my fiiend C^kttr ::^' 'MM^Dombcj^'uncon* 
scsBsi8iy emj^asiaed the wdrJi fHend, tas My{ng-<DO 

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DOMBET AN01 6011 137 

really ; I do allow him to take credit for tha« dis- 
tnictiGoj' **by (|>reseAdxig hint to you.* Yon ha^e 
heard iocfiineDddn Mr. Carka'^^' ■. 

^ I am charmed, tl am snre^'^ said Mrs. Skewton^ 
gracioiuYy. 

Mr* darker was charm^, of course.' Would he 
HaTC' been^ more charmed on Mr* Dombey's behalf^ 
i£ Mrs. Skewtcm hod been (as he at fest sapposed 
her)«iiie Edith whoni they had toasted^ overnight? 

««^Wfay, where; fbr Hearen^s sake, is Edith T' 
exclaimed Mrs. Skewton, looking round. ** Still at 
the. door^^Ting Withers orderaaboBt the mounting 
of diose drawings ! My'dear Mr. ^Dambey, will you 
have the kindness-?— — " 

JMr. Dombey was akeady gone* to «eek* her. 
Next moment 'be returned; bearing on his arm the 
sanie degatatly' di essed and ^ery handsome lady 
whom Mr* Carkcr had encounlKred underneath the 
trees.' ;.-,•]," 

•i^Carke^ft^-*-'-^ began Mr; Dombey. ':But' their 
recDgJBtiGD of each o^er was so mammt^'that Mti 
I>ombey.ssof]|ied surprised^): . > '' 

' ^ I m obliged to the geoftleniant'' said Edithi with 
a atstdy bend, ** for spadng me eoAie adnoyimce frenl 
aoimfwrtonate beggar just now." ' 

*< I am obliged to my good' Sotsaod/* said Mr. 
Carker, boijing low, ** ux the oj^ortc^uty ofl rtn- 
dcring so alight .a service to one whose^ servant i^am 
proud to be.'' : : .} ' :" > 

As her eye rested on -him for aaf instafll, and thdil 
linked OB^the grounds ke^sawin itsfarigfat^d search* 
ing gknce a soapicidn that he had not coi^e up ^the 
moment of hiaiiiterfeiinee) but had secretly observed 
her 'sooner.; Aa hesawihat^ fhe saw in ^' eye that 
her distrust was'n^t without ibniidaifioii.*'^ . /' 

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tjS DOllBET AND SON 

<« Really/' cried Mrs. SkewCoo, who had taken 
this oi^rtunity of inspecdag Mr« Carker through her 
glassy and satisfying herself (as she Itqsed aadihly to 
the Major) that he was all healt ; ** reaMy now^ this 
is one of the most enchanting coincidences that I ever 
heard of* The idea ! My dearest Edith, there is 
such an otmons desti&fy m it, that really- one mi^t 
almost be induced to cross one's actos opon one'sftock, 
and say^ like thoK wicked Tiirks, diere ii no What's- 
his-name bat Thingunmiy,.and What-yoa^maj^call- 
it is hisr prophet I '- 

.£dith deigoed no rCTision of this extraordinary 
quotation from (He. JLoran, but Mr. Dombey fth it 
necessary to offer a few polite remarks. 

^ It gives me great pleasure^?' aaid Mr/ Dombey, 
wtthcnmbroasgaUantry, *<that8 geodeman so nearly 
connected with myself as Canker is, slioukl have* had 
the honour and happiness of renderiH]^ the least assist- 
ance to Mrs. Granger." Mr. Dombey bowed to her. 
*^ Bat it gives me some pain^ and it occasions MM to 
be teally eavioos of Carker^ '* he anconsdoasly laid 
stress on these words, as sensible that they must ^ppcar 
to involve a very s|irprisii^ proposttbn ; *<e«vious of 
Carker, that I had not that honour and that hmH- 
ness myself," Mr. Dombey bowed again. Eaith, 
sai^g £ar a. curl f»f her Up, waajnotionlcss«. 

^ By the Lord^ sir," cried the Major, bursting- into 
spedch. at sight of the waiter, who was come to an- 
nounce breakfast, **it's an extraordinary, thing tome 
that no one can have the. iioDotir and happiness of 
shooting all'saoh beggars through lAa head witbont 
being brought to book for it. But here's anahn for 
Mrs. Granger if she'll do J«-Buthe honour to accept 
it; and thelgreatcst service Joe can render yon, na'am, 
just now, is, to kad you in to table! " * 

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DOMBET AND SOU 139 

With this, tfaeMajor gaFe hU arm to EdMi ; Mr. 
I>ombey1edthewajwidiMrs.Skewtoii; Mr.Carker 
went hat^ atnilnig oh the party. 

*< i an quite re joiced» Mr« Carkcr/' isaid the lady- 
fnodier, at fafsakfast, aft^ another approTing tiinrey 
of him through her gba, ** that yon Inve tiined your 
mit<80 happily, aa to go with m to-day. It it the 
most enchaating expeditiOB ! '' 

^* Aoy eicpedition tvould be enchanting in snch 
aociety/' rstoraed Carker ; ^ bat I. beHeve it is, in 
itself, ^ of interest." 

«< Oh t " cried Mrs. Skewton, irith a &led little 
acrecm of rapture, ** the Castle iBcharaung It^hIsso* 
ciatioDs of the Middle Ages-^^and all that^-^hich is 
so tndf exqmsite. DooH yon dote upon the Middle 
Ages, Mr. Carker?" 

«« Very ihoch, indeed," said Mr. Carker. 
^^och charmmg times '! " cried Ckopatra. ** So 
fbll of faith ! So vigorous and forcible ! 60 pictnr- 
empit !. 80 fcrfbcdy renaoved from commonplace f 
Ok< dear! If they wtndd only leave- as m little 
more of ^e poetiy'bf existence in dieae terrible 
days!" . ' 

Mrs. Skewiolf woaiooking dnrp after Mr. Qombey 
all the tittle she said thii^ who waa looking at Edith: 
who was listening, but who never hftcd mi her eyeu 

« We are draRifuUy real, Mr. Carker/^ said Mrs. 
Skewton; «arewenot?" 

pew people had less, reason to coitiplaiii of their 
reality than Cleopatra, who had as nmoh diat was 
frilse about her as could well go' to- the 'composition 
of anybody with' a rcbl individual, existence. 'But 
Mr. Carker commiserated ouc reality nevertheless, 
and agreed that we were very hardly used in that 
regard. ' • ' . . * . '\ 

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I40 UOMBEV AKO ttON 

^Picmresacthe Castie^qiiitedkiiMslf.' saidQeo- 
patra. ' ** I hope yoix do(^ upOBifkCuiesJ ? 

** I assure you, Mrs. Ske\f ton/ - said Mr* Dombey, 
with 'sokmir encouragc^metti of his Manager^ ^that 
Carker has a very gdod taste fpr ptctnUes ; ^Jabt a 
namral power of apprecbtmg £heni«: 'He is a ytrj 
creditarae artist himseif. HewiU be d^lighted^ I am 
sure, with Mrs. Gran^ei^'s taste ^ad j^hilL'^ 
■■'■ ^DwaamCf mcl*' cried Major lia|8tDck» «my 
Opioioif iS) that yOtt're the adttiirablis Carker; and can 
do anything.'' 

• «< Oh ! V smtkd Garkec^ withliiiiiility, «< yOb are 
much tob aanguineyMajcM: Bagstocbi leas doiivery 
little. But Miv Dombey ia so ;g^eiieroiis iia his esti- 
niadob of -any trivial accompliiHment a man like my- 
self may find it almost necessary ta acqfiiref and to 
whichy in his very difSEient sphete^ he ta iar superior, 
that — ^^ Mr. Carket shrugged his sboukLerSy -de- 
precating further pndsbi and said na more* * 

'All:&8 time^^dith nevMrabed' ho- efes^iookss 
to glaoce towards hermother when that! lady's ftn«iit 
spirit shone ferth iotwords* Buti us Carker ceasedi 
die looked at Mr. Dombey for a moment. "For a 
momentioniy ; but with atc«Mieot.gleaiiij0f.sc<Mful 
wtioder wi hei' fkce^nof k^bni one bbaeffter^ iwho 
was smiling rould the boardu' '« 

Mrl Dombey caiighiiihd dark eyeJashiaits d^fcent, 
and took the opportunity 6f toeatang it« . ' 

«* YeaiiaVe teen to Wmwick o(tkni»]i%nwat^ 
said Mh Dombey. r.d < ',7 . •♦: 

;'■•"¥ S^wal tiiaes^"' ; v f - 
*i t< The.Tisit will be .tedious <toyou^{ am aftaid/' 

^* Oh no; not at all." ^ .: 

^ *< Ahil iYoit.arb ^Jike yonr consia Fecni^ mj 
dearest Edith/' said Mrs. Skewton. <« He h^ beea 

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DOMBBV. AND SON 141 

ta. Warwick Castle fifty times, i£ Iwfau' been dwra 
OQce ;- yctfif he came to Leamingteo tCMDorrofW-^I 
vuh he would, dear angel* l^-he wonU make his.fifty* 
•ecoDd Yisit next diiy." . .\if 1 

<^We are all enthusiastic, are we not, mammal'' 
«ttd Edith, with a coU smile. 

'< Too much sOy for jQur peade, perfaips, my dear^'^ 
retncned her mother; <*biit:we won't < complain. Our 
own <emodoDB are our reccmpensew , If, as your cousin 
Fcenix sap, she sword wears out 'die what*s«itB- 



« The jcabbard, nerhapa,!' said Edhb : 
. << Exactly*— dlittk too last, it is because It is bright 
attd glowing, yott know, my dearest loreiV/ . 

N&s. Skewton heamiia gentle sigh,^ suppose to 
cast a shadow 00^ the surfslcetof that dagger of- lath, 
whereof hev'SQscepdUe i^osdm was the sheath : and 
leaning her head on one side; in the Cleopiitraiiunaeri 
looked with peosiye affection 00 her :darling child* 

Edith had turned her fiu:e towards Mr.iDombey 
whcviie first adckessedherj and^liad remained ia that 
attitude, while apeakbg to her nether, and while he^ 
mother spoke to her, as though oifoing hinii her atteo* 
tio%if hehadanytbh^ more to iity. There was some* 
tiling in Ihe manner oiF' this simple <»urtesy: afanost 
defiant, and'^^ting it thecharacter of being tendered 
on CDmpidsion^'.or as a matter of traffic, to which she 
w&s aT^uctant'party : agam not k»st upon that.same 
obsenrer who was smiling rounds the, board* ^£t set 
him thinking of her as he had first seen her, when she 
had believed herself to be alone among the trees. ' 

Mr. Dombey, having nothing else to say, proposed 
— the breakfast beinjg now ilnished^ and theMnjor 
gorged, like any boa constrictor — that they should 
start. A barouche being in wiaidng, according to the 

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141 DOMBEY AND SON 

orders .of thil gciitkmaii the tvo ladies; the. Major 
and .himaelfi took their seats in k ; the Native iod 
the wan page momited the box, Mr« Tdwlinson being 
left behind; and Mr. Carker, on horseback, < brought 
up.tfaerear« 

Mr. Carker cantered behind the carriage^ At. the 
distance of a hundred yards or so, and wafeched it, 
diiring all the ride, as lif 'he were a cat, indeed, and 
its fonr occupants, nice. Whether he looked to Due 
side of the road, or to the cither— -over distant hmd- 
scape, with its smooth undulations, wind-mills, com, 
grass, bean-ifields, wiki flowers, fariii«yard% hayricks, 
and die spire among the wood-*^r upwards in the 
sunny air, wheretbMerfliei were sporting round hit 
head, and. birds wiere pouring out their songs-^-or 
downward, where the shadows of the branches inter- 
laced, and made a trembtiog carpet on the road— or 
pnward^ where the overhanging trees formed aisles 
and juiches, dim with the softened Jight that steeped 
throttgii leaves-->-ODe comer of his^eye was ever on 
the: formal head of Mr. Donbey, addressed towiids 
hiib,- and the feather in the bonniet, drooping so 
neglectfully and aoomluily between them : much as 
he had .seen the.haqghty eyeUds droop; not leaist.so, 
when the iace met that now fitontiag it. .'Once, and 
cmce only, did his wary glance> release th^se objects; 
and that was, when a leap over a low< hedge, and a 
gallop. abross a field, enaliled iiim to antidpate the 
carriage coming by the road, and to be standing ready, 
at the Journey's aid, to hand the ladies out; Then, 
and but then, he. met her glance for an instant in her 
first surprise ; but when he touched her, in alighting, 
with his soft white hand, it overlooked him altogether 
as before. 

Mrs, Skewton was bent on- taking charge of Mr. 

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DOMBEY AND SON 14) 

Catker bersel^ and showing, him the beaudet of the 
Castle. She was determiiied to have his arm, and 
the Majorca too. It woold do that iacorrigibte crea* 
ture: who was the most barbarous infidel in point 
of poetry : good to be in such company. This ^h^hce 
arrangement left Mr« Dombey at hberty to escort 
Edidi: which he did: stalking before them through 
the apartments with a gentlenu^y solenmity. ' 

<< Those dariii^ bygone times^ Mr. Carkcr/' said 
Cfeopatra, ** with their delideoe fortivsses, 4md their 
dear <^d dungeons, and tiieir delightful places of 
torture^ and their romantic TCfigeances, and their 
picturesque assaults and sieges, imd everything liiat 
makes life truly charmmg ! ' How dreadfully we have 
degenerated r' 

^ Yes, we have fallen oflT ddplorably," said Mr* 
Qarker. 

The peculiarity of their conversation was, that 
Mrs. Skewton,. in spite, ^of- her ecstasies, and Mr. 
Carker, i& note of his osbanig', were both intent -dn 
watching lib* Dombey and Editik With all their 
conversational. endowments, they sppk^ somewhat 
distractedly, -and' at random, in <ionsequence. 

'^ We have no Faith left, positively,^' said Mrs. 
Skewton adwanc^ig her ahrivellied ear( for Mr. 
Dombey was saying somethiag to Edith. *** We 
have no Faith in the dear* old Barons^ who were die 
most del^tfiil 47eaaureii«M^'in the dear old Prietitt, 
who were die most warlike of nien*-iK>r even in the 
days. of that inestimable Queen Bess, upon the.waM 
there,>whidi were so extnemeiy golden* De^ crea*^ 
turei She was all heartil" And that charming 
father of hers ! I hope you dote on Harry the 
Eighth!" ' 

** I adimre him werf ranch," said Canker. 



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144 DOMBEV AND SON 

«< So bluff 1 '' crkd..Mn. Skewton, ^ wim't faei 
So buf ly« So truly English. Such a picture^ too, 
he make8» with his dear little peepy eyes, and his 
beaevoieat chip 1 '' 

^'Ah^ ma'asil *' aaid Carker^ stopfung short; 
^but if yott. speak of pictures, there's a compodtum! 
WhatigaUery in- the wodd can ptfoduce the coobter- 
part of that!''*: •• • mi.. .. 

. As .the smiling gpntlenaD thiB spake, he pomted 
through a 4oorway^o>.whereA&» Dombey and Edith 
were staadtog alo^ in the dentreof aoodier toom. 

They were not jsterchaaging a word or a looL 
Stapdiog together, arm in arin^ they had the sqipear- 
aoce of hebg niore.vdiarided than if s^as had rolled 
between them« There was a difference even in the 
piide of the two, that removed them farther from 
each other, than if one had been the proudest and the 
other the humblest i^cinienof'humaiiity ia.all crea- 
tion* He,^self-importabt^unbeiiding,,formal,ausfeae. 
ShQ, lovely aod^gracefi)j^ iniaa uncommon degree, but 
totally rei^dless fifhctaelE and him land e^erytfaiDg 
iM:ound». and i^)Mraing< ber own attraciaona ^th her 
haughty bcQW/aod lip, a8"t£.. they • ^oe. a badge or 
liv^ sbe'1)ated^ Sf> tuimMchki were ithe^ 'sod 
pppos^ 8f> forced ai^ linked together i>y a- cham 
which adverse hazard and miachancehad^ged i that 
iancy might h^^e. imagitied.the pictures on the walls 
fotomd themi startled, by the uaiiatuml^ con j^ctioo, 
a^d cjbaervant ,q£. ip in their seveml expresdionsw .. Grim 
knigh(8 a^d : w^rriol's loolo^ scowling on. them. A 
i^iMTchman, wkh! his hand upraised, deiloiihced the 
m^kery of such i coapk coming to God's akar. 
Quiet, waiters in landscapes^ with Uhe sun reflected in 
their depths, asked, if better means of escape were 
not at hand, was thcfte^ no dnowaiag; Mtl. Ruins 



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DOMBEV AND SON 14$ 

cried, << Look hete^ and see w6at We are, wedded 
to UDCongemaiTime!" Aniinal^ o^xposed by nature) 
worried one another, as a moral to them. Lores and 
Cii]»d8 took, to flight afraidy and Martyrdom had do 
sacbrlorment in it| fiaitafxKi- history of snflering. 

'Nisyerdielessy'Mrs. Skewtdd wis so charmed by 
the sight; to which Mr. Canker invoked her attention, 
that she couki not refrain Iron saying, half akmd, 
how sweety how very fdl of sbttl it was I Edith; 
Overhearing^ looked round, and fludied indignant 
scarljet to her hair. 

^* ^Y dearest Edith kno#8 I wiw iKhniriog her ! ^' 
said Cie^tim, tapping her, nlinost timidly, on the 
back with hier ptf ami. *^ Sweet pet ! '' 

Again Mr. Clarker saw the strife he hadwitneteed 
fk> unexp^todUyt anM>ng the trce8« • Aga(n hesaw the 
haiig)lty languor andindiffer^ice come over it, and 
hide 'it like clond*. 

She did, not raise her e^es to him; but with ft 
slight iperemplory motion of them^ seemed to bid her 
mother eome near* Mrs. Skewton thought it expe* 
dient to understand the* hint, and ^adTancing qtuckly, 
with, her ^two cavalicdrs, kept near her daughter' frlmn 
that ome* < : . 

Mr^'Carfcer nowi having nothing to distract his 
att^tiion, -began to discomrscr upon the pictures, and 
to select tto bo^rand point them out to Mr. Dom- 
bey ; speaking with his usual familiar recognition of 
Mr. Dombey'a ^atness^ spdL rendering homage by 
adjusting his eyeglass lor him, or finding but the rigm 
place in his cMlogu^ or holding.ihis stick, dc the 
like. These services, did not so nMich Originate wi^ 
Mr.:Carker» in truth, as with Mu Dombey himself, 
who was 4pt to assert his chieftainship by saying, 
with subibpisd authority, add in an easy way-^^for him 



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t4( DOMBEV AND SON 

<— -*< Here, Carker, have the goodnesa to assist me, 
will you! " which the amiling gentleman always did, 
with pleasure. 

They made the tour of die pictures, the walls, 
crow's nest, and so forth ; and>as they were stfll one 
little party, and the Majorwas rather in t^e shade: 
being sleepyi during the process of digestion : Mr. 
Carker became conMnunicadve and agreeabk. At 
^rstf he addressed Jiimself for the most part to Mrs. 
SkeWton; b«t as that sensitive kdy was in such 
ecstasies with the works of art, after the first quarter 
of an hour, that afa^ dould do nothing but yawn' (they 
"v^re such perfect inspkatiods, she pbserved as a reison 
for that mark of rapture), he tramfenied Ms dttendons 
to Mr. Ddmbey; Mr. J^oHabey said little b^ond an 
occasional" Very true, Carker," or*< Indeed, Carker," 
but he tacitly encouraged Carker Co proceed, and 
inwardly approved of his behaviour very much : deem- 
ing it as well that somebody should talk, and think- 
iqg that his remarks, which were, as one might say, 
a branch .of the parent esubUshment, might amuse 
Mrs. Granger* Mr. Carker, who possessed an ex- 
cellent, discretion, never uxjk the liberty of address- 
ing that lady, direct ; but she seemed to listen, though 
abe never looked at him ; and onoe> or tiriee, when 
he was emphatic in his peculiar humility, the twilight 
amtle stolcf over her face, not as a light, but as a deep 
black shadow. 

Warwick Casde beings at length pretty well ex- 
JbbUsted, and the Major very much so : to say nothing 
of Mrs^ Skewton, whose peculiar demonsutrtioHs of 
(delight had become very frequent indeed i the car- 
riage was agaiii put ih f e(|aisitioil, and they rode to 
several adnnced points of view in the tieighboorhood. 
Mr. Dorabey ccsremonbusly observed of one of these, 

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DOMBBY AND SON mt 

that a sketaht liowefa- 4^bt, from the finr hmd of 
Mrs. GraDger^ woqU be a cememfanaice to him of 
that ag^eeaOe day : thoi^ he waoted* no artiicial 
remembrance, he was rare (here Mr. Dombey made 
anotber of Us bows), trfwph be most ahrays highly 
value. Withers the lean having Ecfith'a sketch-book 
nnjfer hisarin, wm immediately called vipoa by Mrsw 
Skewton to prodiv:e the same: and the carriage 
stopped, that Edith might make the drawing, which 
Nfr. Dombey was to pot awav among his treasures.- 

«< But I am dfraifl Iltroubfe yon too orachr" said 
Mr. Dombey. 

<^By noims«ii|s. Wheie w^9«U yon wish it uken 
from ? ^ she afasweved, tanungtohuit with the same 
enforcffi.^MUentipn as before. 

Mr. Dombey, with atfother bow, which cracked 
the stardi in his craKit^ wimiU beg to leave that to 
the Artist. . 

** I wodd rather you chose, ftr yourself,'^ said 
Edith. 

^'Snj^pose then," said Mr. Dombey^ << we say 
from here. It appears a good spot fer the porpote, 
or— -Cark^» what do. joir think ? " 

There happened u> be in the Affcgroimd, at some 
little disunce, a grove of trees, sot unlike that in 
.wlucb Mr* Carkor had made hb chain of footsteps 
in? ^e morning and with a seat wideff' one tree, 
greatly ^resemlrfing, in the .general character of its 
sitnadcb^ the point whtre.his chain had brodcen* 

** Might I venture to suggest to Mrs. Granger/' 
said.Carket^ <*that,that js an interesting — ^almost a 
curioiu?^p$miit of view ? '* 

She followed the direction of his riding*whip widi 
her ey^. audi raised them qmckly to his £ice. It 
was die second glance they bad. exchanged since 

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t4S DOMBBV AND SOft 

their introdltction? aid iMfOold h^ye beeo^j^acdy like 
the fine, hot that ks expreniod waf plamct. ' 

««WiU ydn Mkt that?" said Edith to Mr. 
Dombcy,- ' • " '■''- 

« I shall be charmedj" eUld'Mr. I>c^nii^y to Editb. 

Thet^fbire the (Satriage' wa» dHTeti to^-the spot 
where Mr. Doittbey was to h«chatiiie4$ and E<M, 
without inoyliig from her sea^ and trpemag her 
sketch-book wiUi Ker usttal proud indiBiirence^ h^an 
tosketch, . 

( ^ My pCDcili^ are aH poiiitl^Si'' 4h««ud, 8top|»Dg 
and toming them over. 

«<IVay allow be," said Mr. Dwwbcy. *«0r 
Carker' will do lt»<bietter) i^ h« tttfdefMsuids these 
things. Carker, have the goodHeas to a^^tO' these 
pebdls far Mrs* Onmgef .'*»• ' • 

« * Mt. Carker rode ilp close to the eilrtkge^^ioor on 
Mrs. Granger's side, and letting the rein Bdl tm fais 
horse's neck, took the peneik- from 'her hafiid with a 
smile and a bow, and sat in the saddle leisurely 
mending them, ^naying done so, h^ begged to be 
attewed to hold them, and to l^nd them co'her as 
they were required; and thu9- Mr; Cvker, with 
jMwy codMiiendaciflba of >Mriri. '6huiger's^3ttriio#din- 
HTf skill — espelMly m treee-i'^'rett^aincd cidae at her 
aichsy'looliang over the drawing ad she ihade it; Mr. 
Dombey iicthe meantime stood holt upright al the 
cartiagelike a lii|^ reapectlble ghoat^ ^kilig od 
too ) wluk Cleopatra and th« Mapm ddlied as two 
'ancient doves ibight da ^ • 

' «<'Areyow satisfied with lliat, «f shall I finisH its 
little more?" said Edith, sheisrilig th«, sk«tt:h to 
'Mr. Skmibey. ..:. -.-.i !«-,'/• • 

•■'' Mr. Bombey begged thflfhtRif^tnocbe^totiched; 
it wad petiection. 

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MMIBEY AND SOU 149 

**U la nest e»traordit)ftry/* said Carkor,' bring* 
ingcyeryofatoEid^ittd giiois to btar upon; hu ftsdae^ 
** I was not prepwdl.l^iuigrt^iQgifo bea!^ul» and* 
^'uw»«dialtQgether/'*>!t . .1 

nCJm .mighltbave! applied 'to tfae'sketcher no* lessi 
thun to tlie skdtch ; but Mr. Garker's nuMDer. waff 
openne^ it8elf-<^-i)ot as to hia mouth'talone^ bat.at to 
bis whok* apirj^ So it eoottnB^f to ;be while tb& 
drawing was laid aside for Mr. Dombey, and wkife 
the «ke^liing niiterialawei^ put.up; ^thmiie hatided 
in tJ»«,peiMtil8>(whicbvW«re receivo4. with! a dtstane 
ackiiow^digniept'of>fci& Mpy but without :a. look )^- 
a^ tight9bifljg bis reiiiylfeU'.^ck, and' foUo^vedilU 
qacmge4g»ia*'.M. . ' .*.::'; 

Tbwkifig»t*pefbapa»^ia8.:he fcedei . that even this 
tfiyi^ ilket^ihtd. Wi.mlide.i^^ /dtelirer^ ta its 
owner, mjf it had been bAirgaioed f^oriand bought. 
ThuilLi^ ^liaps,|bat/aldi<ii#i.Bhehad aasented 
with jBUch; perfect ireadiiiefts to J>i$ request Her' 
haughty face, bent over the drawilQgy or! glancing at 
the distant ^bjects>represej|tfcd m tt»::bad beea the 
face of a proud ' wcHpaDy engaged jnna jwrdtd and 
miserable: traHsa^tioiV < Thinkingr ^binpAi of such 
things : but smiling certainty^ 4fld!iwbil0 he s^med 
to look about l^M^f^iKc^jftyfti^ cjf the.ait and 
exerGiw(><ie(H^ alifHya l^al.4i>lirp.coF»a*>of hU eye 

AsmU^ymimt ih^JMMlM mkia of Xmlwiordi, 
aQ4 jmvej^kleii u^nim^ofm^ol tkmi. ownt of 
whid^r *fr§i iSk^wsoo ijrerAiatel. Mr. .iDombeykL 
l^^\kMfim^f}S!9^tAf^-g9tim Had tetniiilQok:^^ 
ing. oy0f,hei[t draimg^^ br«H|ght:the dajr^« expiEdi'-/ 
tioa-to A'Ctpscy't IMra.SJ^wton and; Editb. were. 
driy/e& t^. their .911^ iikxigiQgs ; Mir^, Cark^ wa«; 
ffm<mlj ioWted by Cleopbtra to return. thithcc- with 

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ISO DOMBEY AND SOU 

Mr. Dombey atnd the Major, in the eveniiig, to 
hear some of Edith's tmmci s^the three gentle- 
men lepaked to their hoed to dnmHr. 

The dinner was the counterpart of yesterday's, 
except that the Major was' twenty-four JiCNira^ more 
triumphant and less mysterious* Edith was toasted 
a^un. Mr. Dombey was again agreeably embar- 
rassed. And Mr. CariLer was full iDf interest and 
prake. 

There were no other visitOfB at Mrs.^ Skewton's. 
Edith's drawings' were strewn about the fCfOtOf a 
little more abimdantly than nsual perhapiA; and 
Withers, the yimk pagey handed round a little stronger 
tea. The harp was there ; the piano was there ; 
and Edith sang and played. But even the music was 
played by Ed^ to Mr. Dombey's nvder, as k were, 
m the same uncompromisiiig way. As lius. 

<< Edith, my dearest We,'' said Mn> Skewtoo, 
half an hour aft^ tea, *^ Mr. Ddmbey is d3ring to 
hear you, I know.'*- 

** Mr. Dombey has life enpugh left to say sq for 
himself, mamma^ I have no doubt." 

** I shaUbeimmensely obliged,'' ttiid Mr. Dombey. 

<* What do ytftt wish ? " 

" Piano ?" besiuted Mr. Dombey.^ 

«< Whatever you please. Youhavej0iilyto<:ho6se." 

Accordingly, she began with the3]pkaM;> It in0 
the samei with the harp } '^isaoi uMi'^'singibg; 
the same with the sele^tioni of the^ pieces ^tisbe sai% 
and played. Such ^jpidaild tionstraitied^ yet prompt 
and pointed acquiescence with^tlie wishes he imposed 
upon her, and on ntf'one dse, wad sufBciendy re- 
markable to penetrate thifbagh all the mysteries of 
ptcquet, tmd impress itself tm 'Mf. Oarker's keen 
attention. Nor did he lose sight of th^ (act that 

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DOBf BBY AND SOU 15* 

Mr. Ddmbey was evkkody prowl of y»j 
liked to ^ihow it. 

Nevertlidessy Mr. Carkcr pbfed ao 
games with the Major, and aone widb 
whose vigilance ai eye in vcipect of Mr. 
and Edith no lynx ocNild hove Mfn 
eren hastened fcia podlian in die bdy-omkn^s 
good graces; and lAok on takais Itawt ht ie> 
gretted that he woold be obliged ID iccam ao London 
next moming, Cleopatra trwaed: oonnnHnity of 
feeling not being met with every dxfi tkat it was 
far £roin bemg the last time dwy wipild meet. 

«< I hope SQ»" mid Mr. Carkcr, with an ex* 
pressive Jook at the oorale in. the dJiTanrr, as be 
drew^ towards the door, Ibilomf the Major. ^ I 
think 80.^ ' 

Mc Dondiey, who had taken a staaely kave of 



Edith, bent^ or made some approach to a bead, 
over Cleopatra's conch, and said, in a low voice : 

** I have requested Mi:8. Grader's permissioQ to 
call on her to-morrow monniig — Ibr a porpose— 
and she has appointed twelve, o'clock. May I 
hope to have the pleasure of finding yon at hflsne, 
maidam, afterwards I " 

Cleopatra was so nmch fluttoredand moved, by 
hearii^ this^ of course, incomprdiensible speech, 
that Ae codd only shot her eyes, and shake her 
head, and give Mr* X^ombey her hand ; whieb Mr. 
Dombey, not exacdy knowing what to .do with, 
dropped. 

^ Dombey, dome along ! " cried the Major, look- 
ing in at the 'dodr. ^ Damme, sir, old Joe las a 
great mmd to propose aa alteration in the name o( 
the Royal Hotel, and ^at.it should be called ,the 
Three JoUy Bachek»:sv.in honour of ourselves mn) 

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t$t DOMBBY AND SON 

Carker." With thiB» die Ma jor slapped Mr. Dombey 
on the back, and winking over his shoulder at the 
ladies, with a fnghtibl tendency of blood to the 
head, carried himoiT. 

Mrs. Skc%ton reposed on her 8ofi^ and Edith 
sat apart, by her harp, in siknce. The mother, 
triiing with her hOf looked sneakhily cttUf^dan^tef 
more diaa cmce^ bat the dai^hter^ hfooding^glodiDily 
with downcast eyes, was not to be disturbed. 

Thrtb they remi^Bed for a kmg-* hoUTy widioiit a 
wotd; until Mrs. Skewtott's maid, qipcai-ed^ accord- 
ing to custom, to prepare her .^radn^ly for ntghL 
At night, she should haf?e been > «]^eton; with 
dart imd hofOT-glass, rather than a .woman, this at- 
tendant ; for her iMeh wasaa the toudkiof* Death. 
The painted object shrivelled uidemeath her hind ; 
the form cottapsed, the hinr dropped off,: the aithed 
dark eyebrows chao^ed' •to scanty tufta of grey ; 
the pole lips shmak, the skin ^became, cadajrerons 
and looae ; an cM, worn, yellow tiodd^g woman, 
with red ^yes, idooiB reonakied in Cleopalsa^a places 
huddJi^ up, like a slovenly bundJe, in. a. gr€amj 
iannel gown. 

The very voice was changed, as. it* addressed 
Edith, when they were alone: again. 

«Why don^t you ttell me," it said; ^arply, 
^that he is coming here to-morrow bya{^intnkenti'' 
<< Because you know it/' i/etarned Edith, 
♦^Mother.** iv. , - 

The mocking emphasis she laid on that one Wfud. ! 

<* You know he has boagl^t me," she retfi^ned. 
*^ Qr'that he will, to^4noniow. . HcfihasLconsidered 
of his biu'gain ;' he'has' shown it to Us friend ; he is 
ev^ rather pr6dd of it; h^ ihrnk^l that if i wili< suit 
him, and may he had suJficieptly cheap ; and he will 

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•DOMBEV AND SOV 15^ 

bay tfy-m^row. God, that I ftaTe-Uved. for thi% 
and that I fe^I it! '* » 

Oonifilwift iiitO' one hBndtome face the cooscimia 
eeif-abaaeniient, and the burnhig indigiiation of a 
liiixKlred ivoraeA^ straogf in postiod and in priie ; and 
there it hid itaelf wid> two white afaaddenng arnw*. 

** What do yoQ mean f '^ returned; the ttigrj miother. 
** Haven't yo« flioni a chikl^j — -" 

<< A dhM } '^ said Edith, looking at ker^^"' when 
vras L a ekild ! What chiklhood did you 'ever leave 
to me ? . I Wtf8 a woman-^Mirtfid^ ifedgnmg,' mercenary^ 
laying mareft for men-«^forel knew myael( or yoi^ 
or evfin nhderttood the bate. and. wretched aim of 
every new display I • learnt* You gave hivfth.to'a 
woman* Look apon^ her. Sbeitiin her pride to* 
nights" ."■ ^ ■■'■■■, , :■•'.. 

And as she spoke, she struck her hand upon hst 
beanlilid bOsom, as though' she. wbuld have beaten 
downherftelf. = ■ u ■. • ,^ 

^* Look at me," slie.said, Hwbo hare nerer 
known what it is to have an honest heart, jmd.love. 
Look at me, tanght to. scheine and plbt when 
childr«w play ; and married in my youth^-*^tf old 
age of dengn^*-io one fbif whom I* had no leeiing 
faot indiffeFenoe* Looki at me, whom he left a 
widdw, dying beibre his iikbcritance descended to 
him-i— a jod^nent on* yoal well deserved ir— and 
tell'me w4iat has been my! life for ten years 8ince.f.*r 

<* Wo'lsfltve been m&king every effort to endeamoiiK 
to secure to yon a good aJBtabliahinent,'' Eejoioed hca 
mother* -^^ Thkt has becft your life. And nctw. yon 
hategotk.'-^ * ^ ■•• • :'... : • '. . ' 

*< There is no slave. in a mafketfi diere b m 
h<n*se io'a fair t ao ahowntand^oiijeied and examined 
and 'paraded, Mother, as'i have l^een, forienishame*^ 

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154 XMnfBEY AND SON 

M ycarV' cried Edith^with a borniDg brow, and 
the aaine bitter enmhatts oa the one word. <* la k 
sot ao? Have I been aiiade the b]nvord of all 
kinds of men ? Have fooU, hafte profligates, baie 
boys, have. dotards, daqgled after m^ md one by 
one rejected nse, and &Uen off, because yoo wen 
too pbun with all your canoiDg : yes, and too true, 
with all those £dse pretences ; until we have almost 
come to be notoriovs ? The licence of look and 
touch," she said, with fladung eyes, ** have I sob- 
mitted to it, in half the places of resort upon the 
auip of England ? Have 1 been hawked and vended 
heie and there^ nntil the last grain of self-respect is 
dead widun me, and I loathe myself? Has this 
been my late childhood ? . I had none befiare. Do 
not tell me that I had, to-night, of all nights m my 
life!'' 

« YoQ nuglit have been well married,'' aaid her 
mother, ** twenty times at least, Edith, if yon had 
given encouragement enoagh.'' 

** No ! Who takes me^ refiise that I am, and ai 
I well deserve to be," she answered, raising her 
head, and trembling in her ener^ of shame and 
stormy pride, ^'shdl take mc^ aa this. man does, 
with no art of mine pat fiuth to lure him. He sees 
me at the auction, and'he thinks it well to bay me. 
Let him I When he came to view me perhaps to 
bid--*he required to see the roll of my accompKslb- 
mcnts. I gave it to him. When he would have 
me show one of them, to justify hb purchase to his 
men, i require of him to say which he demands, and 
I exhibit it. I will do no more. He. makes the 
purcliase of his o^m will, and with his own sense of 
ittworth, and the power of his money; and I hope 
itmay neve? disappomt him. / have not vaunted 

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DOMBBY ANa SON 15$ 

and pressed the bargain ; oekher have ycMi» so far as 
I have been able fea {)reYent ybvu-* 

** Yon talk strangely to-i^t, Edkh^to yo«r own 
mother/' 

^ It seems so to me ;. stranger to me than yon,'' 
said Edkh. *^Biit my education was completed 
long ago. I am too old now, and have fallen fioo 
low, by degrees, to take i new course, and to stop 
yours, and «o help myself. The germ of all that 
purifies a woman's breast, and makes it true and good, 
has nerer stirred in mine, and \ have nothing else to 
sustain me when I despise myself." There had- 
been » touching sadness in her toice, but it was 
gone, when she went on to say, with a curled lip^ 
" So, as we are genteel and poor, I am content (hat 
we should be made rich by these means ; all I say, 
is, I have kept the only purpose I have had the 
strength to form — ^I had ahnost said the power, 
with you at my side, Mother — and have not tempted 
this man on." ' * 

**This man! You speak," said her mother, 
** as if you hated him." 

« And you thought I loved him, did you not > " 
she answ^ed, sCoppi^ on her way across the room, 
and looking round* ** ShsU. I tell you," she con- 
tinued, wi& her eye* £xed dn.her nM^her, <«who 
alread;^ knows us tborotfghly^aiid rdtda us rights and 
befoit -whom I ha«e even kss of self-respect or 
confidence than before;my own inward. s^: being 
so much 4fisnukd by Us knowledge of fae? ^' . 

<^ Tbia is an attack, J suraose/' retntned her 
mothei^ coldly^ ^ on,poar» untoctunate what's-hi*- 
namer*Mr« Uurker I Your want of «elf-reqpect 
and confidence, my de^^ in r<^ence to l^t peroon 
(who i^ very a^eeaUe, it strikes me), is not likely 

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1 5« DOHBEV AND' SON 

to have mach effect ooi -your ortabHahment^ Why 
do yott look at me 80»4ianl ? ' Ata you ill ? " 

Edkk 8iiddi3ily'let&114m,4ee^a8 d it hadfbecn 
stungy and while she pressed her hands upon it^^a 
tmiUe tremble crept^sDver her whole frame* It was 
qoick|y. gone.»/ aad with' heiriisaal step, she passed 
out of the room. .. 

The maid, who shoiold have been a skelcboii^ then 
re^appearedy-.and -giinng .one arm to lier nistress, 
who appeand. to kat^e taken x>ff hfer'nuumer with her 
channs, and Jo have put on,paralyii8'with her flannei 
gown,) collected ^the ashes <^iClJopati^' and: carried 
them away ,in. the jother, ready for toMBOcrow's 
r^iyification. .. -^ . • i\ */ 'jd 



JL a 



Chapter XXVIII ^ 



ALTltATlONS 



** QO the day has come at length, Sttsan," said 

. ^ Florence to ^e exoellent. NiB^r,<^when 

we are agoing bock! tt> iourqifiet home I - ' > ^^ - 

' Snsan^f^ in btp-lM-dath wkhr na ainott&r of ex- 

{^ssioh noip easily ^escribedy* and Auther felilmng 

her feebngfr with a sittart <rough) aniwersd/'^'Very 

quletSndted, Mm Ffeiyi np'doidsL ^Ekceisire sow" 

** Wlien'I was a dhtld^^ edd Flofenee^ thought-^ 

fbUy/a«i after iinising'ibrlsoffhe tHonwnts^ **SA you 

ever* aee that gMitleman wlio -bta Ibken tiie trouble 

to ride dbwn here' te speal^ to hfe, sow tMiee times 

— three ?taMe«y' I think, Susad?'^' . 

«* Three itipiea, miss,''' returned the Nipper. 

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DDMBEY AND'SOM 157 

*' Once whefi yo« was -out a miking with tbcm 

Florence gendy loodoed at her, and Miss Nipper 
checked tter^. 1 

«< Whh Siv Bsbnet stad bb ladyv I mean to say, 
miB^y and thfe yomtg g^mJeman. i^ two eTeningi 
since then," • . > ; 1 ' .. •, 

*^When t was ft'chiid^ and i when a>nipao7 used 
to come^ to Tiiit pfllpii did ybu'^ver see that gentlo* 
man at home, Susan ? '* asked Florence. 

<« Wdl, nam" retonied her maid; aft^ boasider- 
ing, «^ I rdilly couldn't cay I eifer did. When, ymta 
poor 'dear ma died^ Miss Floy,! was wry new ill 
the facnily/ycNi se^, aoi* my efi^ent:'' ,the Nipper 
hridled; as '6pihiiigfittiat>*hcri merits had been always 
demgnedly extm^nished by (Mr, Donbey x ^ was 
the "floor below » the atdt&^.v • 

^ To be sore/' said Fkttrenoe, still thou^tfbUy ; 
<*ybu arei not< lik^ly^ to bsfve knovim who came to 
diehoiise.'' I '()uitb forgot/' , ' 

<^Mot, mls8^ but what we talked about, die: family 
and'tisitbrs/' said Swssn^ '« and but what I heainl 
roach saldi altfaob^h thenorse befor^ Mrs. Richards 
iSd make unpleasant remarks trhen^I tir&a.in'COBi* 
paiiy,.aiid>'hint at Mi<itle: pitdssr ^ bat ^that oSuld 
only be attrib'dttKl, poor thing,?? observed Susan with 
(^smptMed forbearai^e^'^^tO'halntB of intoiLicatiofi^ 
for which; ^riie ' wail recfoinBd tblkave, and di<L" 

fi'lorence, .wlik> was seated ather qhamber window, 
with her'face resting ;on: her. faimdy sat locking out^ 
and hardly seemed to hear %hat 'Sman sJttd/ she was 
to loit iathoufehti • • ';ii : ' >... 

^At aB events nms^'' iadd SnsaBy ^I rememUr 
very.wdl ^t this 8amegenU^nia% Mr. Caideer, was 
ahnast^ if not' qoitd, as great a geiltHioaa with your 

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158 OOMBEY AND SCW 

papa then, as he is now. It used to be said in the 
house then, miss, that he was at the head of all y<m 
pa's affairs in the City, and maoaged the whole, and 
that your pa minded him more than anybody* which, 
begging your pardon. Miss Floy, he niight easy do, 
for he never mihded anybody else. I knew that, 

• pitcher * as I might have beau'* 

Susan Nipper, with- an injiired remembrance of the 
norse before Mrs. Richardsy emphasised ** pitcher " 
strongly. 

^« And that Mr. Carker has not fallen pff; miss,'' 
she pursued, Mbut has stood his ground* and kept 
his credit with your pa, I kn^ from what is always 
said among our peo^e by that Perch^ whenever he 
tomes to the house, and ihou^ he!s the. weakest 
weed in the woiid. Miss Floy, and no one can have 
a moment's patience with ihie man, he knows what 
goes on in the City tolerable well, and: isays that 
your pa does nothing without Mr* Carker, and leaves 
all to Mr. Carker, smd acts according to Mr. Carkeri 
atid has Mr. Carker always at hia dbow» aad^I do 
belieire that he believes (that washiest of Perthes 1) 
that after your pa, the Emperor of India is thfe thild 
unborn to Mr. Carker." 

Not a wovd of this was: lost on Florence, ,who» 
with an awakened interest in Susan's speech, no 
loiter gazed abstractedly on the prospect without, 
but looked at her, and Hsfcened with attentaoo. 

* *'^ Yes, Soian," she flosd, when that jom^ lady 
had conchided. ^r<<^He.is m papa's contadenoe, and 
is his frifind, I am •sure..'^ 

Florence's mind ran high on this theme, and had 
done for some days.* Mr. Carker, in the two visits 
with which he lad felbwed up his first one, had 
assumed a cot|(ldcnce between himself and Jhoi^-a 

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DOMBBY AND SON 159 

riglit 00 his part to be mjttakm and iteakhy, in 
teUbg her that the ship was stiil onfaeaid of--4 kkA 
of mildly restrained power and authority over her—* 
that made her wonder, and canaed bier great on- 
easoiess* She had no means of repeUing it, or of 
freeing herself from the web he was gradinlly wind- 
ing about her ; fof that woold have required some 
art and knowledge of the world, opposed to such 
address as his ; smd Florence had none. Trae, he 
had said no more to her than that there waa no 
ncw»^f the shqs and that he (eared the worst; but 
how he came to know that shp was int ere s te d in the 
ship^ and why he had the right to signify his know- 
ledge to her, so insidiously and darkly, traoUed 
Florence Tery much. 

This conduct on the part of Mr* Carkcr, and her 
habit' of often considering it with wonder and un- 
easiness, began to invest him with an uncomfi)rtable 
^Mctnation in Florence's thoughts. A more distinct 
remembrance of his features, voice, and manner : 
which she somedities courted, as a means of reducing 
him to the lerci of a real personage, capable of 
exerting no greater chavm over her than another-; 
did not remove the vague hnpression. And yet he 
never frowned, or looked upon her with an air of dis^ 
like or animosity^ but: was thnjB smSii^ and serene. ' 

Agaki, Florence, in pursuit of her stroi^ purpose 
with rderence to' her father, and her steady re- 
solution to believe that she was herself unwittingly 
to blame lor their so cdd and distant relations, could 
recall to mind that' this gentleman waa his confidential 
friend, and woold tldnk, vrith an anjuous heart, could 
her struggling tendency to di^ike and fear htm be 
a part of that misfortune in her, which had turned 
her father's love adrift, and left. her so alone ^ She 

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i6o DOMBEV AND SON 

dreaded that >k night be; somettmes .believed it 
Was : then she reiolired that she would try to con- 
quer this wrong leeling ; peiauaded therself that she 
was honoured and encouraged - bf the notice 4st her 
father's friend; and hopedt that patient observation 
of him and trust in him wottid.lead< her bleeding feet 
along that stony^ nkidi which toded in her fiidier's 
heart* 

Tfaus^ widi no tme to adtise her-r<&r she could 
advise with : no- one withottt seeming to complain 
against lum — 'gentle Florence tossed on an uneasy 
sea of doubt and Jiope; sad Mf. CarJcer, like a 
scaly monster of the deep, swam d<^wn below, and 
kept hitf shinmg * eyi& upon her. 

Florence had a new reason in all thi^.for wishing 
to be at borne agiin. Her lonely life. ^was -better 
suited to her oour^of timid hope and doubt: and 
she feared sometime^ that in her absence ahe might 
miss some hopaful,chafKe*of testifying Iter a£Fe<^on 
for her father. Heaven kno^trs, she might have set 
her mind at retfe^ poor duldl. on. this last pobt; but 
her sighted love- was fluttering withm ber, and, 
even' m her.sleepy -it £ew 4way in dreams, and 
ncBtledy like a wandering bird come: homc^ upon her 
£[ither's neck > . . 

• ^Of Walter sibe thougk oftea, ' ^ ! how often, 
when the night was floon^y, and the . \yidd was 
blowing round thb house 1 .: But hope, waa strong in 
hec< breast. It i* so difficult for. the youQg and 
arioknty-even Ivithisuch ^xfierience as h^s^ to ustag^ne 
yoiudi and anbur jquenched like.aw^ai; iflaoke, and 
tbe fari^t day of ufe mei^ing: itito {night, at .noon, 
that^ho^jwiis strong yet. . . Her tears fell, frequently 
finr WaJter's sufferings; .fant murdy lor his supposed 
death, and Skever IcMtg^ 

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DOMBEY Alil> SON i6i 

'She had written to the old mstrument^imakery but 
had received no answer to her note : which indeed 
required none. Thus matters stood with Florence 
on the mommg when she was going home, gladly, 
to her old secluded lifew > 

Doctor and Mrs. Blimber, accompanied (much 
against his will) by their valued' charge, Master 
Bariiet, were already gone back to Brighton, where 
that young genUem^ and his felhyw^pilgrims to 
Parnassus were. then, no doubt, in the continual 
resumption of their studies. The holiday time was 
past and over ; most of the juvenile guests at the 
villa had taken thenf departure ; and Flodence's.long 
visit was come to an end. 

There was one jgaest, however, albeit not resident 
within the house, who had been very constant in- hit 
attention to the fiuniiy, and who sdll remained 
devoted to^ thetn^ This was Mr. Tooto, who after 
renewing^ some weeks ago, the acqudntance. he hoi 
had the hapfttncss of forming with Skettles Junior, 
on the night when he burst the Blimberian bonds 
and soared int6 fi:eedoiD willi his ring on, called 
regularly every other day, and left a pe^scc pack of 
cards at the hall-door; so many indeed, that the 
ceremony was quite a deal on the part of Mr* Toots, 
and a luutd at whist on the part ot the servants 

Mr* Toots, likewise, with the bdd and happy 
idea of preventing the ^unily from forgetting him 
(but there is reason to suppose that this expedient 
originated in the teeming bram of the Chicken^, 
had estaUi^ied a six^oared cutter, manned by aquatic 
friends of the Chicken's and steered by that illustrious 
character in person, who wore a lM*ight red fireman's 
coat for the purpose, and concealed the perpetual 
black eye widi which he was afflicted, beneath a 

II. M 

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i6s DOMBEY AND SON 

green shade. Premw to the kistitiition of this 
equipage, Mr. • Toots soanded the Chicken on a 
hypothetical case, as, supposing the Chicken to be 
enamoured of a young lady named Mary, and to 
have conceived the intention of starting a boat of his 
own, what would he call that boat i The Chicken 
replied, with diters strong asseverations, thai he 
vmdd either christen it Poll or The Chicken's 
Delight. Improving on this ides, Mr. Toots, after 
deep study and tjie ^eacercise of much invention, 
resolved to call his' boat The Toota's Joy, as a 
delicate compliment to Florence, of which no man 
knowing the parties^ cooU possibly miss the ap- 
preciation. 

. Stretched on a crimson cushion in. his gallant 
bark^ with his shoes in the air, Mr. Toots, in the 
exercise of his project, had come up the river, day 
after day, and weet after week, and. had flitted to 
and fro, near Sir Baroet's garden, and had caused 
his crew to cut across and across the river at sharp 
angles, for his better exhibition to any lodcers^oot 
boBOL Sir Barnet's windows, and had iiad such evolu- 
tions performed by The Toots's Joy as had filled all 
the neighbouring part of the water-side with as» 
tonishment; But whenever he saw ao^ one in Sir 
Barnet's garden on the brink of the river, Mu Toots 
always feigned to be passing there, by a combmstion 
of coinddenoes of the most angular and unlikely 
description. 

<*How>are you, Toots 1 '* Sir Bamet.wbiiid say, 
waving his hand from the lawn, while the art&l 
Chicken steered close in shore. 

''How de do, Sir Bamet?" Mr. Toots would 
answer. ^What a surprising thing that I should 
see jwM here!" ^ 



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DOMBEY AND SON 163 

Mr. Toots, m hi» sagacity, always said this, as if 
instead of that being Sir Barnet's house, it were 
some deserted edifice on the banks of the Nile, or 
Ganges. 

<^ I never was so surprifled ! " Mr. Toots would 
exclaim. — ^* Is Miss Dombey there ? '* 

Wl^reiipon Florence would appear, perhaps. 

**Oh, Diogenes is quite well. Miss Dombey,'* 
Mr. Toots would cry. <<I called to ask this 
morning.'' 

<* Tiumk y<Mi very much ! " the pleasant voice of 
Florence would reply. 

<< Won't you come ashore, Toots ? " Sir Barnet 
wonld say'ihen* .^^ Come I you're in no hurry. 
Come and see us.'! . . >• 

<< Oh it's, of no consequence, thank you 1 " Mr. 
Toots would blushingly rejoin. ^'*I > thought Miss 
Dombey might like to know, that's alL Good- 
bye ! " And poor Mr. Toots, who was dying to 
accept the invitation, but hadn't the courage to do 
ity signed to the ChickenyWitk an aching heart, and 
away went the Joy, cleaving the water like an arrow. 

The Joy was lying in a state of extracHrdiaary 
spleodour, at the garden stepsy on the morning of 
FloMbce's departure. When she went down staha 
to take leave, after her talk with Susan, she found 
Mr. Toots awaiting her in the drawing-room. 

**Oh, how de do. Miss Dopabey?" said, the 
strk^n Toots, always dreadfully disconcerted when 
the desire of his heart was gained, and. he was 
speaking to her ; '^ thank you, I'in very well indeed, 
I h<^ you're die same, so was Diogenes yesteMay." 

** You are very kind^^' said Florence. 

« Thank yoM, it's of no consequence," retorted 
Mr. Toots. " I th(»ight perhaps you wouldn't mind. 

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i«4 DOMBEY AND SON 

ni thit ime veathcTy oonung iKwie fay water, Misi 
Dombey. There's plenty ^ room ia tbe boat kr 



'WW ■■■■■ < ■■> 

**I ua very nrach ohlige<i to yo V said Flofence, 
hfwmring* **I really am— 4iQt I would rather 
not." 

<<01i, it's of no consequenoe^'' retorted Mr. 
Toots. ^'Goodmoramg!'' 

«« Won't yon wait and see Lady Skettlea?" 
asked Florence, kindly. 

«<Oh no, thank yoo,'' retonied Mr. Toots, ''it's 
of no consequence at alL'' 

So shywas Mr. Toota on such occasiooa, and so 
flurried ! But Lady Sketdes entering atthe momeDt, 
Mr. Toots was suddenly seized widi a passion for 
asking her how she did^ and hoping-she was very 
well ; nor codd Mr. Toots by any posubtlity leave 
aS duking hands with her, until Sir fiamet ap- 
peared; to whom he immediately clung with the 
tena city of deqieration^ 

«< We stre losmg, to-day,, Toots,'' said Sir Baraet, 
taming towards Florence, '^ tiie light of our house> 
I assure you." 

^ Ohi it's o£ no conseq-*— ^^ I mean yea, to he 
sure," faltered the embah-assed Toots. ««Good 
mormng!" 

Notwithstanding (to emphatic nature of this fare- 
well, Mr. Toots, instead of going away, stood 
leering about him, vacandy. Floroice^ to celieve 
hira, bade adieu, with many thanks, to Lady 
Skettlesy and gave her arm to Sir Bamet. 

** May I faeg of you, my dear Miss Dombey," 

said her host, as he conducted her to the carriage, 

** to present nary best compliments to your dear papa? " 

• It was distressing to Florence to receive the 

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DOMBEV AND SON 165 

commisaioo^ for she felt as if she were imposing on 
Sir Bamet, by allowing him to believe that a kindness 
rendered to her, was rendered to her father. As 
she could not explain, however, she bowed ha"^ead 
and thanked him; and again she thought that the 
dull home, free from such embarrassments, and such 
reminders of' her sorrow, was her natural and best 
retreats 

Such of her late friends and companions as were 
yet remaining at the villa, came running from within, 
and from the 'garden to say good-^bye. They were 
all attached to her, and very earnest in taking leave 
of her. Even the household were sorry for her 
goingi and the servants canie nodding and curtseying 
round the carriage door. ' As Florence looked round 
on the kind faces, and saw among them those of Sir 
Bamet and his lady, and of Mr. Toots, who was 
chuckling and staring at her from a distance, she 
was reminded <xf the night when. Paul and she had 
come from Doctor Blimber's: and when the carriage 
drove away, her face was wet with tears* ' 

Sorrowful itearsj but tears of consolation, too; 
for all the sc^r memories connected with the dull 
old house, to which «he was returning made it dear 
to her, as they rose up. How long it seemed since 
she had wandered through the silent rooms: since 
she had last crept, softly and afraidy iiltb those her 
father occupied : stoce she had felt die solemn but 
yet soothing inikieikce of the beloved' dead in every 
action of her daily life I Thilt tiew fiirewell re-* 
minded her, besides, of her parting with* poor 
Walter : of his looks and words that night t and of 
the gracious blending she had noticed in him, of 
tenderness for those he left behind, with courage and 
high t|ttrik. His little history was associated with 

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i66 DOMBEY AND SON 

the old house toe, and gave it a new claim and hold 
upon her heart. 

Even Susan Nipper softened towards the home of 
so many years, as they were on their way towards 
it. Gloomy as it was, and rigid justice as she 
rendered to its gloom, she forgaye it a great deal. 
«' I shall be glad to see it again, I doD't deny, miss," 
said the Nipper. " There ain't much in it to boast 
of, but I wouldn't have it burnt or puHed down, 
neither!" 

** You'll be glad to go through the old rooms, 
won't you, Susan I " said Florence, smiling. 

*<WeU, miss," returned the Nipper, softetaing 
more and more towards the house, a» diey approached 
it nearer, << I won't deny but what I shall, though 
I shall hate 'em again to-morrow, very likely." 

Florence felt that,'^r her^ there, was greater 
peace within it than elsewhere. It was better and 
easier to keep her secret shut up there, among the 
tall dark walls, than to cury it abroad into the 
light, and try to hide it from a crowd of happy eyes. 
It was better to pursue the study of her loving h«irt, 
alone, and find no new discouragements in loving 
hearts about. her. It was easier to hope, and pray, 
and \ar9 on, all uncared for, yet with constancy apd 

E' *nce, in the tranquil sanctuary of such remem- 
ces : although it mouldered, rusted, and decayed 
about her: than' in a new scene, let its gaiety be 
what it would.. She welooroed back her old en- 
chanted dream of lif^, and longed for the old dark 
door to close upon her, once again. 

' Full of such thoc^hts, they turned into the long 
and sombre street. Florence was not on that side 
of the carriage which was nearest to her home, and 
as the <tistaiice lessened between them and it, she ^ 

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DOMBBV AND SON 167 

looked out of her window for the children over the 
way. 

She was thus engaged, when an exclamation from 
Soaan caused her to turn quickly round. 

<«Why, gracious me! '' cried Susan, breathless, 
** Where's our house ! " 

«« Our house ! '' said Florence. 

Susan, drawing in her head from the window, 
thrust it out again, drew it in again as th^ carriage 
stored, and stared at her mistress in amazement. 

There was a labyrinth of scaffolding raised all 
round the house fix>m the basement to the roof. 
Loads of bricks and stones, and heaps of mortar, 
and piles of wood, blocked up half the width atid 
length of the broad Street at the side. Ladders 
were raised against the walls ; labourers were dimb- 
ing up and down ; men were at work upon the steps 
of the scaffblcUiig ; painters and decorators were 
busy inside $ gr^at rolls of orsfiimeBtal paper were 
being deliyered from a cart at the door; an Up- 
holsterer's waggon also sto|)ped the wiiy f no fruni^ 
ture was to be seen through the gaping and 4)roken 
windows in any of the rooms ; nothing but workmen, 
and the implementa'of their several trades, swarming 
from the kitchens to the garrets. Inside and outside 
alike: bricklayers, painters, carpenters, masons: 
hammer, hod, brush, pickaxe, saw, and trowel : all 
at work togedier, in full chorus I 

Florence descended from the coach, half doubt- 
ing if it were, or cbuld be the right house, until she 
recogmted Towlinson, witha sunburnt face, standing 
at the door to receive her. • 

** There is nothing the matter?^' inquired Florence; 

"Oh no, miss." 
• " There are great alterations go^g on." 

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i6S DOMBEY AND SON 

** Yesy missy great alteratioius" said TowiiiMoii. 

Florence passed him as if she were in a dream, 
and hurried up alairs. The garish Vght waa in 
the long-darkraed drawing-rooms, and there were 
steps ai^ platforfflG^ and men in paper caps, in the 
high places. Her mother's picture was gone with 
the rest of the moveables, and on the mai-k where it 
hod been, was scrawled in chalky /*this .room in 
panel. Green and gold*'' The staircaae was a 
labyrinth of posts and planks hke the outside of the 
house, and a whole Olympus of plumbers and 
glazsera was reclining in various attitiklefl, on the 
skylight Her own room waa not yet touched 
within, but there were beams and boards raked 
against it without, baulking the daylight. She went 
up swiftly to that other bedroom, where the little 
bed was; and a dark giant of a man with a pipe in 
kis mouth, and his head tied up . in a. pocket- 
handkerchief^ was staring in at the window. 

It was here that Susan Nipper, who had been in 
quest of Florence^ found her, and said, would she 
go dowQ stairs to her papa, who wished to speak to 
her. 

*.* At home ! and wishing to speak to me! " cried 
Florence, trembling. 

Susan, who was infinitely more . distraught than 
Florence herself, repeated her ^rand ; and Florence, 
pale and agitated, hurried down again, without a 
moment's hesitation. '• She thought WKm the way 
dowti, would she. dare to kiss him? The loo^ng of 
her heart resolved b^, and she thofUght she $fould. 

Her father might have heard that heart beat, 
when it came inlo his presence. . One instant, and 
it would have beat against his breast — 

But he was not alone. There were tWQ ladies 

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eaMBey and son 169 

there 9 and Florence stopped. Striving so hard 
with her emotion, that if her brUte friend Di had 
not burst in and overwhefaned her with his caresses 
as a ! welcome home — at which one of the ladies 
gave a little scream, and that diverted, her atteotioo 
^om herself-— «he would, have siK^eoned upon the 
floor. 

<< Florence/' said her father, putting out his hands 
GO stiffly that it held her off: V how do you do ? '' 

Florence look the hand between her own» and 
putting it timidly to her iips, yielded to its with* 
drawal. It. touched th^ door in shutting it, wilh 
quite as much endearment as it had touched her. 

"What dog is that?" said Mr. Dpmbey, 
displeased. 

" It is a dog, papa-^from BrighUsi.-' : - 

<<Well!" said Mr. Dombey; and a cloud 
passed over his face, for he understood her. 

"He is very good-tempered," «aid Florence^ 
addressing herself With her nattval grace and sweet-^ 
ness to the tn#o lady strangers. " He is only glad 
to see me. Pray forgive him." 

She saw in the glance they interchanged, that the 
lady who had screamed, and who was seated, was 
old ; and that the other lady, who stood near her 
papa, waa very beautiful, and of an elegant figure. 

"Mr& Skewton," said her father, turning to the 
first, and holding out his hand^ " this is my daughter 
Florence." 

" Charming^ I am sure," observed the lady, 
putting up her. glass. "So natural! My darling 
Florence, you must kiss me, if you please.?'' 

Florence having.. done so, turned towards the 
other' lady, by whom her father stood waiting. 

"Edith," said Mr. Pombey, "thisjU my 

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170 DOMBEY AND SOU 

daughter Florence. Florence, this lady will woo 
be your mamma/' 

Florence started, and looked up at the beautifai 
face in a conflict of emotions, among which the tears 
that name awakened, struggled for a moment with 
surprise, interest, admiration, and an indefinable sort 
of fear. Then she cried out, " Oh, papa, may you 
be 'happy! may yon be irery, very happy all your 
life I and thfen fell Veeping on the lady's bosom. 

There was a short silence. The beautiful lady, 
who at first h^d seemed to hesitate whether or no 
she should advance to Florence, held her tx> her 
breast, and pressed the hand with which she clasped 
her, close about her waist^ as if to reassure and 
comfort her. Not one word passed the lady's lips. 
She bent her head down over Florence, and she 
kissed her on the cheek, but she said no word. 

'' Shall we go on through the rooms," said Mr. 
Dombey, •♦and see how our workmen are doing? 
Pray allow me,' my dear madam." 

He said this in ofFefing his arm to Mrs. Skewton, 
who had been looking fitt Florence through her glass, 
as though picturing to herself what she might be 
made, by Ae infusion — ^from her own copious store- 
house, no doubt — of a little more Heart and Nature. 
Florefitee was still sobbing on the lady's breast, and 
holding to her, wheh Mr. Dombey was heard to 
say from the conserVatoty r 

" Let us ask Edith. Dear me, where is she ? " 

«* Edith, my dear » " cried Mr*. Skcwton, «< where 
are you ? Lookinjg for Mr. Dombey somewhere, I 
know. We are here, my love." 
' The beautiful lady released her hold of Florence, 
and pressing her lips once more upon her fece, with- 
drew hurriedly, and joined them. Fkirence remained 



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DOMBBY AND SON 171 

Btandiiig in the same |Jace: happy, sorry, pyM, 
and in tears, she knew not how, or how long, but 
all at once : when her new mamma came back, and 
took her in her arms again. 

'* Florence,'^ said the lady, horriedly, and looking 
into her hct with great earnestness. ^Yon wiU 
not begm by hating me? *' 

**By hating you, mamma! '! cried Florence, wind* 
ing her arm round her neck, and returning the look. 

** Hush ! Begin by thinking wdl of me," said 
the beautiful lady. ^ Begin by believing that I will 
try to make you happy, and diat I am prepared to 
love you, Florence. Good-bye. We shall meet 
again, soon. Good-bye ! Don't stay here, now.'' 

Again she pressed her to her breast — she had 
spoken in a rapid manner, but firmly — and Florence 
saw her rejoin them in the other room. 

And now Florence began to hope that she would 
learn from her new and beantiftil mamma, how to 
gain her Other's bve ; and in her sleep that night, 
in her lost old home, her own mamma smiled radiantly 
upon the hope, and blessed it Dreaming Florence ! 



Chapter XXIX 

THE OPENINO OF TUX STJI8 OF MR0. CUlCK 

MISS TOX, all unconscious of any such rare 
appearances in connexion with Mr. Dombey's 
house, as scaffolding and ladders, and men with their 
heads tied up in pocket-handkerchiefs, glaring in at 
the windows like flymg genii or strange birds,-*- 
having breakfasted one morning at about this event- 
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i7» DOMBEY AND SON 

fill period of timeyon her customary viands ; to wit, 
one French roll rasped, (me egg new kid (or 
warranted to be) „ and one tittle :pot of tea, wherem 
was infused one little silver scoop6il of that herb on 
behalf of Misa Tox, $axd ope litde silter scoopful on 
behalf of the teapot-ra flight of fancjr ia which good 
housekeepers delight ; went Up stair is tO set forth the 
Bird Waltz on the harpsichord, to water and grange 
the plants, to d«st the luck-nadcs^and according to 
her daily: custom, to make her little drarwiog-room 
the garland of Princess's Place. 

Miss Tox endued herself with the pair of ancient 
gloves, like dead leaves, in which she was accustomed 
to perform these avocktions— ^-hidden from human 
sight at other times in a table dcawer-«-and went 
methoditdlly to, work; bc^tnoing with the ^rd 
Waltz ; passix^, by a natural jisspqiatioa of ideas, to 
her bird-^ very high-shouldered caoaty^ stricken in 

?sarS) and much rumpled^ but a pterciag singer, as 
rincess's Place well knew ; taking, next in ord^, 
the little china ornaments, paper fly-cage«^ and so 
forth; and coming round, in good time, to the 
plants, which generally required to be snipped here 
and there with a pair of scissors, for some botanical 
reason that was very powerful with Miss Tox. 

Miss Tox was slow in coming to the plants, this 
morning. The weather was . warm, the wind 
southerly ; and there was a sigh of the summer time 
in Princess's Place, that turned Miss Tox's thoughts 
upon the country. The pot-boy ^s^ttached to the 
Princess's Arms had come out with a canj and 
tripkled. water, in a flowing pattern, all ovet Princess's 
I^lace, and it gave the w^y ground a fresh scent — 
quite a. growing scent, Miss Tox said* There was 
a tiny bUnk of sun piping in £:om the great street 

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DOMBBY ANUi SON 173 

round the corner^ aod the smoky sparrows hopped 
OTer it and back agaiiiy brightening as they passed: 
or bathed in it, like a stream, and became glorified 
spacrowsy unconnectod with chimneys. Legends in 
praise of ginger beer, widi pictorial representatioiis 
of thirsty customers submerged in the efBerTescence^ 
or stunned by die fiying corks, were conspicuous in 
die . window of the Princess's Arms. They were 
making late hay, somewhere out of town; and 
though the fragnuice had a long way to come, and 
many coahter-iftagtapces to contend with among the 
dwdlings of thtpoor (may God reward the Worthy 
gentlemen whoi stickle for the Plague as part and 
parcel of the wisdom of our ancestors, and who do 
their Iktle. best to keep those dwdlings miBerable ! ), 
yet it vnB wafted nindy ii^to PrincessV Place^ 
whispering of Nature and/* her wholesome air, as 
such thi^ will, even unto prisoners: and captives, 
and those who are desdlate and oppressed, in very 
spite of aldemen and knights* to boot : at whose 
sage nod-*-aad how they nod! — ^the rolling world 
stands still ! 

Miss Toxsat down upon the window^seat, and 
thought of her good papa deceased— *Mr. Tox, of 
the Custoqis Department of the puhlie service ; and 
of iier childhood, passed at a seaport, sunong a 
considerable quantity of cold tar, and some rusticity* 
She fell (into a softened remembrance of meadows-, 
in old time, gleaming with buttercups, like so many 
invorted firmunents tif golden stars ; ^od how she 
had made chams of dandelibn-stalks for youthful 
rawen of eternal constancy, dressed chiefly in 
nankeen $ and how soon those fetters had withered 
and Ivoken. ... 

Sitting on the window-seat, and looking out upon 



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174 DOMBEY AND SON 

the Bporrowa and the Uink of son. Miss Tox thought 
likewise of her good mamma deoeased^^-^sister to the 
owner of (he powdered head and j^gtail— of her 
virtues and her rheumatisnu And when a man with | 
bulgy legs, and a rough voice, and a heavy basket • 
on his head that crushed his hat 'into a mere black 
muffin, came crying flowers down Princess's Place, 
making his tinud little roots of daisies shudder in 
the vibration of every yell he gave, as though he 
had bees an ogr^, hawking little 'children, summer 
KcoUections were so strong upon Miss Tox, that 
she shook her head, atad murmured the would be 
comparatively . old before she knew it--*which 
seenaed' likely* 

In her pensive mood, Miss T^x's thoughu went 
wandering on Mr. Dombeyfs track ; probably be- 
cause the Major had returned home to his lodgings 
opposite, and had just bowed to her fbom his window. 
What other reason could Miss Tox have for con- 
necting Mr. Dombey with her summer days .and 
dandelioa fetters? Was he more cheerful? thought 
Miss Tox. Was he reconciled to the decrees of 
Fated Would he ever marry Mgm; and if yes, 
whom? What sort of person now! 

A flush— *it was warm weal]faer*--^verspread Miss 
Tox's fiice, as, while entertaiaing these meditatbos, , 
she turned her head, and was surprised by the reflec- 
tion of her thougfatfiii image in the chimney-glass. 
Another flssh succeeded when she saw a little carnage . 
drive into Princess's Place, and make straight for , 
.^^er own door. Miss Tox arose, took up hdraoissors , 
hastily, and so coming, atlast, to the plants^ was very . 
busy with them when Mrs. Chkk entered the room, v^ 

" How is my sweetest friend ! " exclaimed Miss ^ 
Tox, with open arms. ' .« 'J^ 



..„„>^j 



DOMBEY AND SON 175 

A little stateliness was mingled with Miss Tox's 
sweetest friend's demeanour, but she kissed Miss 
Tox^ and said, ** Lticretiay thank youy I am pretty 
welL I hope you are the same. Hem I *' ^ 

Mrs. Chick was labouring under a peculiar little 
moDosyllabic cough ; a sort of primer, or easy 
introduction to the art of coughing. 

** You jcall very early, and how kind that is, my 
dear!" pursued Miss Tox. <<Now, liaFe you 
breakfested?" 

<« Thank you, Lucretia," said Mrs. Chick, <« I 
have.. I took an early b-eakfast " — the good lady 
seemed curious pn the subject of Princess's Place, 
and looked all round it as she spoke, ** with my 
brother, who has come hdme.'' 

** He is better, I trust, my love," Mtcred Miss 
Tox. 

<< He is greatly better, thank you. Hem ! " 

'* My dear Louisa must be careful 6f that cough," 
remarked Miss Tox. 

"It's nothing,*' returned Mrs. Chick. "It's 
merely change of weather. We must expect change." 

"Of weather?" asked Miss Tox, in her sim- 
plicity. 

" Of everything/* returned Mrs. Chick. «Of 
coarse we must. It's a world of change. Any one 
Tirouid surprise me very much, Lucretia, and would 
greatly alter my opinion of thdr understanding, if 
they attempted to contradict or evade what is so per-^ 
fecdy evident. Change ! " exclaimed Mrs. Chick, 
with severe philoso{^y. " Why, my graeiofis me, 
what is there what does not chaise 1 even the silk- 
worm, who I am, sure might be supposed not to trouble 
itedf about such subjects, changes into all sorts of 
unexpected things continually." 

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176 DOMBBV AND SOU 

^< My Louisa/' said the mild Miss Tox, " is ever 
ha|^y in her illustrations." 

<*You »e so kmd, Lucretia/'' returned Mrs. 
^Chick, a little softened^ ^< as to say so, and to think 
9O9 I bdiere. I hope ndther of us may ever have 
any cause to lessen our opinicm of the other, Lucretia." 

** I am sure of it,'? returned Miss Tox. 

Mrs. Qiick coughed as b^ore, and drew lines on 
the carpet with the ivory end of her parasoL Miss 
Tox, who had experience of her fair friend, and 
knew that under the pressuiae of imy slight fatigue or 
vexation she- was prone toa discursive laod of irrita- 
bility^ availed herself of the paute, to change the 
subject.. 

" Pardon me, my dear 'Louisa," said Miss Tox, 
^ but have I caught sight of the manly form of Mr. 
Chick in the carriage ? " 

<< He is there," said Mrs. Chick, ** but pray leave 
him there. He has his- newspaper, and would be 
quite contented for the next two hours. Go on with 
your flowers, Lucretia, and allow me to sit here and 
rest." 

>< My Louisa knows," observed Miss Tox, <'that 
between friends like ourselves, any approach to cere- 
mony would be out of the question, liierefore " 

Therefore Miss Tox finished the sentence, not in 
words but action ; mid putting on her gloves again, 
which she had taken off, and aiming herself dnce 
more with her scissors, began to snip md, clip among 
the leaves with microscopic industry. 

'^Florence has returned home also^^' said Mrs. 
Chick, after sitting silent for some time, with her 
head on one side^ and her parasol sketching on the 
floor ; ** and really Florence is a great deal too old 
now, to continue to lead that solitary life to which 

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tieM^rAKtf son \ji 

she has b^ accuaton^ed. Of' cduntf «he ii. Th^re 
catf be'no doiibtr about it; It^oudd hav^ very little 
xtl;^^^^lil^tcA^{xitwa^^ c^dd adT«K:4te 1/ 

dmeretxt opinioii. Whatever my wMhet might %^ I 
could mi t^MjkN^ thetti. - We <iafHK>t command ottl* 
fetlingft ttf sbcE"^ extent as that.*' 

MiM Tox assetjted, SvMotft beittg particufaff as to 
the intelligibility df ^e prdpodtibni 

<« If ^e'a k sti^ngfe ^, '^'ifeid Miis Chick, ^ aiid 
if my brother Paul cannot feel perfectly comfortt^let 
in 11^ society^ after 41! die^sad-thbg^ that have hap- 
fAsntA, and a^ tfi^' terrible d^pfiointaxftets' that fattve' 
been nnde#gt>n^"thto| 1i4)at' iiT fther^y ? Tliat he 
must makf^ an e^t. ' 'That ht is bound' to m4ke an 
effort. We have always been a fsonify ' r^arlfiibl^ 
(o)t dFofL ^Pa«l is at'tiie h^d'cifdi^ family ; elniost 
the ody i-eppesoltatiye of it lefe^fbr m^hat am I — / 
sun oftiib'c^nse^^Mfic^ — -^** ' " ' • 

^^Myttetfest'to^/' remonstrated Mis^ Tox. 

Mrs* Ghkk dried her* cytes, nrhich were fw the 
moittiHlty tfi^^nunwittj^ \ • and procerara : " * * 

*< Anci^ itonseque^dy he is mo^ thad ei^r boimd* 
to makei an ^ort. AdA though his having ddne so; 
coities upon ft^ wi^ a sort of shock-^for mine is a 
very weak- and fboHrih nature V which id* ainytfjftig btac 
a bleisitigl fim«in-e; I io/ften witfh my heart was a 
marble slab, or a paving stone— ^^ — ^ * " ' 

«My sweet Loifisa,*' riita6hs^ated MIsis'Tbx 
agam. ■-•'.• • ■■ a ■ • . ' ■ " 

« Still; it ^'is iif trtemiph to li^e to knbw that he is 
8d triie' t^ llimseif/ted' to his nafte ' of Dombey ; 
although, of course, I always knew he would be. I 
ofliy h(^'^ said' Mrs. t^ek,' after a 'patise, <>^diat 
ihetaay lie wofthy t)f the riame too*.'*^ • 

Afiss l^x ifilied ft litd^ grden wiiteriiig^pot from% 

II. H 

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^7% wm9BY hfWiBO» 

jugjismd happfniqg to J^ofc iq^wiiini'S^ ^doQC so, 
y/s»iBo «m'pri^ by Iftie^ aiqcRintaf 9Xfteamn Mrs. 
Chicik (had c«|i¥«y^ jipto her /ace» vid nf^ t^fsuw- 
ing)i|poii btr. d»(/8tu» po^ the Ii^e.w«(er}Qg«Tppt q& 
ti^.t^ble for the.pcfsenty tmd 9^t4pW9J^ear it . 

** My dear Looiss^'f . ai^d Miss Toa;,,M iviU k be 
the iem. aatMactioa t* ywf^if I ventore x«r olWre 
in reference to ti^t x^^kf.fk^ I« 96 a l^iiipble 
i|MU¥klual,f^hialc;yow;.jKv^.zue(:e:ia levpry.wayimost 
propiising.? " =• ' I-. ! ;•.-., " ■. ' I 

" What 5I91 y«J\mfap» Lac^^a ? '.' j-emriied >lrfc 
Ci4qky.ii^th,M^eaa»jL:«&|te)j^ «To 

wfcat f^ark of iqiqe^ oiyf4&»r|r<ioi ypprir^terl '% 
P . «^Her ..bcix^ . worthy; s^^ her^ JOf^Qir ^^|h'lpW 
FCtdied'I4i^Tox,« . n ' , . // 

<f ]^'^ said :Mrp^ :Cbick« w^hboIc^mi tpati^^^ «I 
haveinpt exj^fned n^sflf with/olQM^cw^)^ 
the fault of course w mtoc -Tb^/? .isgy^rjivipsy 00 
reason why Z 'should c»prcssr mjst^Vf at JiUr ^cept 
the^ intimacji^jth^tf ^9/B iiub^stfBd bet^^^ceiMMf'aiKl winch 
I very much: h^|^ .JL^crctia-rn^Opfid^^Ay bcfe — 
i|othis[g<wiU i^cur.^ disturjbi. ; Bega u sfayhyTrfiould 
I do a^ij^tM^ flispi Th^rf; J0.no /«aii9ii.Si>it would 
be abwd. Bui l.;wi4i )to^e:^ife8» myyeli^.clearlyy 
Lucreitiat^^ian^ therF#>re ^if-gfi <batk to thsm reamark, 
\ mo^t «beg to «ay that it yfas: not §^i^f/^cd la lelate 
to Florence^ in any way^'^i ... • ,<j . • 

,?*, Ind^ I " rf*ui»?fl jMi§«: Toxj. ... • / 

** No/' said Mrs. Chick shortly and decisiv^. 

^Paf dpQ me^ ray d(9^>r lejoin^ ^lei: jmeeji fiieod ; 
<<but J/^miot liave under stopd,au r-^ ^ I am 

Mrs. Chick, lop]Qed,|X|Ufl4 th^ f 00m alM4 t^ver the 
way ; at the pian.ts,»at the; Urd, at tko wat(|ri^rf)Ol, 
atriJfnost.^vcffyithiqg within ]viftW| ^xcfipt ftfiss Tdx; 

.1; 

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DOMBey.AMIIt.SQN 179 

aoA finally dropping, bar ghncie upon Mi9B T<a, S^. 
a monienvjoo stsi^vs^; to tib^ ^om^r^idft lo^Uffg; 
meaowUile withMevBtltd «yelH]ioh¥4 jtf ^ carpet ; , . 

^yWhkal ipittk^LiftcftwtMy^fher A«Migwoithyof 
the Barney. I «peak o£ my brokbtfr Paul's ^cood ^^1^ 
I beUevd I Junretalraadyiaid, iAtfiect^ ifoqt, iaKbe 
▼erywordrl nowuaet tW it;b hisf mtei|tk>n tojnarryi 
ii uecmd ymkl}' .. '-.r- ' . • / 

Miw ToK kft lier aoit ill a ii«K)iry« and^cA^r^ 
to her plaota 9 * dippiog rniiQng |li$ ' 8tem« .^ IeaT««,« 
with M little hnour M.ar tobff .workjtilg at no many 
puper heads of hair. 

. ^ Wbctlter sheiwiU faeJfiilly seaaiUe^f thf di^liiic- 
tioii/coi|ferred upon faeiv''>said Miik Chidby 19 a Ja% 
tJowy.^ is^^oifee anotkar ^p^stm. • I- h^^ she' may 
be. We are bound to think itr^- of onp.fiiiiothftr in 
thjaiwoiidy and I'lM^ishenaj)r>be^) /,Ij We not bten 
adviiod ivkh,nii|r«lf. Ifl.biidlbeenadnsad ^itb|,I 
hawjqodoobt li^ adviJb«^m0aU;biivf> bi^fn ^y^tly 
reoenred,>and 'tfeetefoi'e ilria infinitely) ^t«r^ it ifi^, 
Inucbpniferiit^niitia." >» .,.: 

Min T«k; 'vitli,headi bemdoiimi stiU dq^ 
amoi^ the planta. Mcs^.Clnok^ wkb iceer^ei^c sbak*- 
iaga^'of'ber 'Qjirn head irotel$me.to. timfi^ (:p^li^^ed 
to libU forth, <aa if m defiance -of 'aOinebody^; 

**^Jimf braifhee Piml had €Of^u|ted with .«0ft 
which lie flOBietinieadoes~roi< rather^ 40«lfftii|ies tiaed 
to do ; for be .will natoally do that. fi»,mof:^0Wft$ 
aadtl^ is a ciromDstanoe wfaicbi. X e^^das a.r^li^f 
from neapoDsibilil]^/?. said Mas* Chick^ hyBteriqidly, 
*«fQit I thank HdiTCft I am not >a)ousr''-r^" beCQ 
Mra; Ofaick ^gain shed tears : <iS it iny; brother Paul 
had come to asey iad had-sliid^/ L,o»aia» what kind 
of qukiiliea would yo» advise me to^looki oDt foi^i in 
a «a£ ?/ ( 1i: skaaUt certainly have aaswev^ i f Paul, 



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ytm fflftft have ftmiiyi you^ most, havebeanti^yim 
nmsthayedigiiityyydgnitetkavDCODDexioo.' Tboie 
are the ^vorcto I ^(MsM^httV^ imd* Ydamiglit hxn 
ted me'to thfei^ldck mndediaibely aftfrwaida^''- said 
Mm- Chick, at if thdt coflsequence were Jnghlj 
probhbtei <« hot I shMld httve uaed them. I sfaoiiid 
have said, *Faul } > Yoa to^ many a seoKmdtiiK 
without family! You to marry wiihoot beamy 1 
YotttoinitftywIllMmtdiginty ! Toutojaarrywidi- 
oQt c^hniindofi ! Tiiefi»'t«iiDbody;iathenHFocld>oot 
mady who'coold dl«att»t)f daring tor«iiteviain ndi a 
preposterous idea !' " •• -t. » 

Mife'Tbx ^flopped cfip^iag tmti widk her head 
aiii6Bg thei^ants^ Hiiebed attemirelyj*. BerluqiaMitt 
Tox thought^therewaAhopeindm exordanmySBd 
the ti^iitmth of Mfs; Ohiek. ' -'' 

' «'I 8hotikt>lkveadQqited*thia<cQ«rieof ai^|omcDt»" 
pursued the' tliAcreec^ IM^, i**^hecsLme. Ittniat I am aot 
a fool. ' I make- fioL(flaiift.Jto be .aoi|iideiied :« person 
of superibr ilMe^«^^^ou||h I beMte kome people 
have been extraordinary enough «» consider; me. so ; 
6tK c(d little hiiiiilMired at I «niy woBld>iwy sooif be 
disabused ^f any tuchnbtton ;< 'but 1 trd«t I am mt 
a downri^ iool. And to teil'ME,^'' said i Mrs. 
Chick with' ine^y^id^disdaiil^J^ that my broths Baal 
D^inbey could w^t boiiteM}Aatft the-'possibiiity of 
unitiilg'himself tv lEtnybody— I doo't can who ''•- 
she iirar rnore^ shafp und emphalic:is.thai short ckiue 
than in ^^^ other pai% of her "discimrBb — **not pos- 
sessing these requisittti)' would be to insult what 
u^^rstandmg I fc^ got^ a^ much as if 1 waa to be 
told that f ^wa^ hiittk* and bced- 41jb e^ihaaty which I 
in^y be told afieic^'^ teid< M^a. Chkk wsth ren^iatioii. 
** It wottldn^t surprise me at all. . I expect iiiiV 
« tn th^'iHomc&t's siieiHie thateirfoeil^Misa^ Tox'i 

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DOMB&V ANO «0N ili 

sci^BCirs gift a feeUe cMp or. two ; b^t Mm Tax's 
&oe wM. >tiU ioTiaiUei. ^ Mm Toil's m^niiig 
goivn >wa8 agitated. .Mra. Chick looked- sideivajW 
aft li^, thcovfi^h. th^ int^erve^aig plaatft^ and wettt oo 
to. say» in a Jtone^ of bland. fionvjctio&y aa/ooe dweU^ 
ti]ig::<in > iKmn of imt that hardly vnqoirad to. he 
stafied: .r, •.; 

^^ Therefore, of coarse my brother Paul has dpne 

i^hmii'Wf» ta be egfcpectf^d^of hiKn, and what anybody 

migkt have foreseen ^ would do» if he epteredr the 

inarHag«,Istate^ agmn- . I ,cpnf«4s it tak^ me mtb^r 

by satpmHy howev^ ^ati^g y became when Paii4 

^wr^nt. oiii4^,town ]« ^Mtd.no idesL at allithat be woi4d 

£<»n^ any attaehnieniirtpul; of ^own, and he^icertainly 

had>iic> j^i^bme«(t^hen h^ left hm. ^ow^y«r^it 

seeips to be. extc^maly ^^m^hk in .{Bf?ery. pwit of 

view.. > I itayo po doubt the mother is a J9g^ genteel 

asid' e^gant cH^atiure, and I hare no fight whaterw 

to dispatethe policy o£ her Uying with them s which 

ib Pair's afaiE^ not watift i nnd as to Paul's chpice, 

herself, I have only seen her picture yet, bqtr that is 

beautiful' indecfd. Her name is beautiful too»" said 

Mnk Chick, shaking her head with energy,, .and 

arrangiv^ horself io[. her chair ; ^ Edith is at once 

uncxunmoq, sas itt strikes .wiey and distinguished 

Coi^9Ciq«ently,'(>ucretia, I have no dquj^t you .will 

be ^ppy jbo r hear that, ^ 9iacriage^ is. to. take place 

iimiediatelyf*^cowS(»» ^sou wilU '- g^eat. emphasis 

again: <^ ^. tliMift you are deUghted with this citange 

in tb^ caspdiopn' of my brother, wbP has shown you 

» ^i^dfdl (Mf pleasant^ attention at^^vanous tidies* '^ 

Miss,To9i; n^dezHO yerhal answer, but took. Up 

the little .n^ttring-pQt with a tremb^og hand, and 

looked yacandy round as if considering what amde 

of fympa^.wffMM it«proTed:4>y th^. contiyits. 

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t«i DOUBBir Allt> SON 

The Toonwloor opening «t )iliB*<!ria# •f'^fiss Tox*8 
Mkngt, die Marted,' laUgliiBd ttiMid» and lcl>iMD the 
trms of the person enteHng Y happily io^enmble Mt 
«f Mre.' ChkkV Mignant ^coiintenance^'Mid of %he 
Major at hkn wMoMr'^^for die ^j who^ hud hii 
4^e^4nnrrikd eye-gliiM m M ^u^km^foid whose 
face and figure were dilated with Mej^istopiefean 

joy- • • ' - ■ . ".' • - i 

Kot-sa'the'eKpatHMed 'Nafiw, snaiced sopiJlMrter 
d^'Uffte Toids HwoonSng i^miy i»iio,*cofattii|^iatHight 
ttpi Mbiray with' a pdlit^ H^^ry 4im6hing MiBt Tok'b 
Malth (in «sMiet 'pur«iM^e<if the'Mil^r^ft iniJi^^ 
h i» trB cfi » n<)Vhiid acddetitidl^ ^\^e&%A the ^la^ nick 
t)f time^d' csktih i^e ^clelicate'btiMteilllti hia trma^ ^aod 
to receH^fhe c^dnteiHs' of the ^}9ttl« "waterfBg-^idi in 
his '^toe ; both <of Whi<ih ^ctimstances, ooiq^ed with 
hH conseftdosnesci oF being eJost^ liratel^ l^ the 
wrath^ Major, whd had threatened^^i« lUmal ptMty 
in regard of e^ery tione in his akin ^in; tase of- 'any 
Mhtti^y cotobined «e> render Mhi a hidinllg a^^etJide 
of menttil and bodfily distress. ' ''>' 

For some moments,' « this afflict^ ioKigiler re- 
fliained claBptbg' Miss Tox to hit) heart, with sn 
eoetgf of action 'iaremarkflblie djp)>ositi0ft to his 
diseoficerted face, wMe that poor lady* Welded 
slowly dowti npdm him the very 1^ ^nkJinga of 
die little trateting-p(E>t^^as if^hd were ad^cate exotic 
(whiieh irideed he ws»^)/ttnd iflightbd'ahnost^xpectetf 
to Ibifow While 'thie .'Ifaitle > raid d^dnded. Mrs. 
Ohiol:; at iengdi' recov^rtngBoffii^itfttt' pitesenetf of 
mind to intepp6s«; dOinmiM«d hlhi to dnoi^ Msi 
Tox^poii'the^sofk and Withdraw i^ '' aAd' the- V^xile 

Som^ly obeying, she '^p^lied hi^ririf to'^^mote 
[iss''Tox-^8 reclDvery.' > * '- »•• - ' '- •^' 

Sttt none ofthat gefide eon^em'^htch'' Witia% 

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MttB&y MID 8(dM tt3 

cWacterises the'daughttrv of Eve in dieir teiiditt^ 
of ekh ether; iKmeof that fi^tfmaBOfuy iii&mdn^ 
By #hidi - they ttre geneniBjr 'hooiid tisgether in a 
mjBieriotitf tKMid of' afoterhood; ^ vitthle nf Mn* 
dddL^r iSettieafioor. Richer like- xht txMti&tttt 

yKrmlKf' t eSlOf 68 ' tM 'ttCWBtk vb MflUllOll ' prC^lMl 'tO pfO** 

ceedmg with the torture (or was wont to do ao, in 
the good dd times jfer- which al^fhie'ined^ ii/ear 
perpetual iboarniiig)^ ^ ybrs. Chieltidiftiiiistef 'the 
Midliii^bottle/ 'the Hdap^iiig on the handi, th^ da3h- 
nhg of dnd water' dh tM* nutt^ Md -ui^ tMiier proved 
remeffiefc - Aiiid ^hen, Mtlei^, Miss Toit Opened 
hec e^^My^a^ gradiidtybeettne'rettdredto-aniilliftk^ 
and conspionanessy Mrs. Chick dnew off' as irotkn 
critnina!,' and reyei^riilg tlie precedent of "^ nmrd^ed 
king of Denmark, regarded'her moiedv anginf tliAo 
matittdw.' '-*' ""-* ' V o* ,. . .... ■] •• 

'«;tw^c*tt !^' ftnd MttJ Chick. " «* I wffl ' wfe 
^tlcaiijMito'^g^whaelfMi Mjr^es A-eopened, 
alf at <m6t: I wcfuldtt't haVe beKevetl this, if a MiM 
had tbfcl'itto tot.*^ '- ' ' . ' * ♦ 

**l am foolish to give IniVto fatntnefe,'* lifiss 
Toj^^feWfcrtd. '<♦! shall be irtitt presently.'^' • 

«'Yoii ^jrtir be" fectUer 'pitrfeiftly, Lucffeiis * '* 're* 
peated Mrfc. €hkk;' yi** €fxceedbig''8c<ira^ i^« Do 
ym snppod^ I^&n^ "biiiid l^ 'Do y6u imagine^Lani m 
my* BccoAd chOdiiood?' No^ Lticfetia! >t ^ 
obliged td ydto;!'*^ ' . / ' ' !^ 'I 

MissTo^c-'direeted^an implMng/iielpfestf^kind df 
Idok uy^r^di hef f^ietod^ ^iki /{akt iier haiklkettytf 
before her face. ^ .'.-.. .; 

^IPaki^ oncf hiad'tllld^ lA^^tiiis'^f^ncirday/^ (laid 
Mrs. piick^^with majesty^ <<or eif^ti li^f an Hettr 
a^Oy Pshould' hare' bi?^ tempted^ l almotfb bellevcf^ to 
strike liieinf ^'th^ tsMk:' Lud-e^ ToW, niy ^ey^ 

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i84 PPJiliW A^P:«Qlf 

ue op^^d tp yoi» all at ooce* The scak^^ " here 
Mra. C)iidc cM down an imaginary p^ir, sndi as 
^e cominooly used in j^ocera' ahopa.; M h^vi^ fallen 
from my jiig^ The blindnefia of my. .fioofidence is 
past^ IfrVipretia*. , It has been abused aokd.playod/^qiii 
and eyaaion ia quite ^ut of (he qu^adon nowr I ^vme 
ypu." . •. . . . r'.. ./ ^ 

. /<Qhlr.tp ^hat do you ,(a)lii4^ :to ^fuejly, my 
loyei. '' a^tvfd Mi«« Tox, thr^ug^ her t^acs,. 

'<vL^reti^,'' fi^id .Mrs. Qhicky ^^ ask your own 
hea(ti, Imns^c^trfs^^ounQt ^addr^ m^ bvai^ 
such £uniliar tenns .a^ yqu ))ayer jost' used^^if yoa 
pleaae,. ,,I have some, aelf-respeqt left, tliough.you 
pay thb]i otherwise." t j - ./ 

» /.<Oh,. Lfi^uiaaJ/* cri^ Miss^^^ox^r . ** How can 
yo« speak tojne like tha^i." ..«.'♦' . u 

** How can I speak to you like that ? " f^etgri^ 
]^r8..|Qiicky'who^in default of living any particular 
fli:g^ment to sustain herself upon, relif^ pf jncipally on 
81^ Vepeti^ona, &rjher most withering, effects. 
<< Like that ! You may well say like that, indi^ ! '' 
Miss. Tox sobbed pitifully, . ,, „ ,* 

« The idea 1 " said.Mrs. Cbic)L, « of your havii^ 
basked M i9y Jbrothcar'a fifiesidey. Uke< a serpqit^and 
wQuad ypurself, ttu:ough, n^, almpetinto bis confi- 
deiK:e»(Lucretia, thftt yqu migh^io. sef^et, entertain 
designs up^ him, and dare to a^pi^: to cpnteigplate 
the possibility of his uniting himself tpJM^ i Why, 
it isii aQ idesi," said, Mrs. Qhick, with sarcastic 
diy^ty« *f the absurdity pf which alfnof^. relieyes its 
treachery." 

, <*Pfay, Lpuisai" ur^.Mis%,Tox, V do not say 
such dreadjful things.".. , 

.. ^Oread/a^, thingar^ r^f^ated .ft^a. Qhick. 
^, Dreadful things ! is it jpot ft fact,, i. vcretia, that 

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«MiB»:» ANDJSaSI i»5 

yoB iiuve ja^tjnov been, unable ..(q Gomnaiid your 
fedkigs .^ven before me, n^ko^ eyes you had ao 
completely closed ? " 

<^ I Juive.made ao eomplaiot," sobbed Misa Tox. 
'^ I ka^e sai^. oothkig; If I have keen a, lit;de over- 
pQW«red. My your ae^riy Louisa, and have eir^ had 
any. lingering thought' that Mr« Dombey was iaclioed 
to >Q.vpactkular towai^da me, surely ^1911 ^1 not 
coBd^ttUK roe/' , » 

<« She is g^is^ to sayi" sad. Mrs. Chick, addresa- 
iag hfiraeK to the wl^)Ie of the fumitui^y in ^\§>qfOr 
IM-eheiuiy^ glaaof: of reffguatioa and appeal^ ^^^she.is 
going ;to say — ^I ki^w it-^rrthat.l ha?e>;Kii^urag«d 

<<il dQn'l; vtth, to exchange iftproaches^ dear 
Louisa," sgJbJbed M«s Twi *' Nor do I wish to 
complaiiw B^ in my own de&npe-r-*-*^'' 1 ' 

TMTcs," cried Itfra. Chick, looking rpood the 
ropm -with a prophetic soiile, <*/hat'a wibat ahe'a 
gois^ tf^ say. I knew it Y^ l^ad better say it 
Say it <^)eply I .BoiOpen, Lucretia Tox," aud Mrs. 
Chick, with desperate sternness << whatever you 
arew'* 

>M In my own defimce^'' faltered Miss Tox, f^aod 
only in my ow9 defence against^ your ^^okind wordSt 
my dear Lot^ I: would ' aoerely ask you .if you 
haven't oft^ fav^fKi suqh a faQcy» and «ive» said it 
iqighthappm^llw anythjbgwecoiqld tell?'' , 
• ^ TiketaM a |)oin|^".said Mrs. Chidk, rising, npt 
as if she were gomg to stop at th0 Joor^bi^ap if she 
were abou( to soar- uPi lugW iAm> her native skies, 
** beyond whicli end^ran(;e becojiies Adlculojosi jf.not 
culpable* I can. bear mucht; but^not ipoi.qayph. 
What spell; ivas OKktos when I c^QMt into diis .W^ 
this day^ I dw't kmi^afbuti I had a presenpAM^trr- 

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t86 tfcmm^ Aiwsok 

« dal'k fresentuhenty'^ fiaid Mrs. Chick, with a 
ahiter, *<that sondt^thing iirsLB goifig Id haj^ieti. Well 
may I have had that forebodings Lucretia^ whe^ my 
•coimdence ef many yieatift is deMa^oye^'fal aa iiktW, 
when toy eyes are opened all. at iyncey^and y/tAeti I 
'find ytfs reveded in your t^ue ^eotoBrft. Lucretk, I 
-have beeki mistiililen-in yoii« ' 'It is bett^ ^ tlft^bbth 
thbtthis stti»ject should end^ here/ Iwrsh yf>ii'^efi, 
and I shall ever wi^ you well. But, as an ilMMvidiial 
who desires fal W'trtie to herself ^'ter^wtf poor 
tMMiti6n» whati^ver that jjosition may bt^ 4itmmf not 
be^^-a^d v» the sister ^f my bro^er-^and m the 
sisteNisi^'law of ' riy bHother's iK^^-^-andaS' a cmh 
nexion by marriage of my brother's wife's modiJef — 
may I bfe pet^ntfhtedlo' add, as a Dombey^— ipcan 
wish 70U tMkhihg else but good Domini*/' '■ 

These words^ <feli^red with cutting sua^ty, tem- 
ped' "and chastetikl byak>ftyiii^of moral reciiiladey 
carried ^6 speak^k' til'^the defon (There she mdftied 
^r he^ iti a jghos^ and filatcA^Hke m^WHerv' and so 
wididra«r to her e^ttlage,^ td «eek'4oii!ifort imd coo- 
flolation in the arms of Mr. Chidt'hbr \Md. 

Figuratively speaking, that is to say ; for the arms 
of Mp. Ghick xfcre foil of his newspaper. ' Keffher 
*did that gentlehiaii address his eWs toU^rdrf his lArife 
otherwise! thaiv by ■ steakh. Neidier ^d he bffer any 
ton8olati6n whatiever.- ' Iti shdTt)' he sbt reading, and 
humming faigf«t!dd>df''etme&V'fDd sMe^A^ gUtloiiig 
<fortit#ly at hei* Withdot deliveri^ himself ^f'k Word, 
gbod,45adyoi< iddiffejfetet. ' -^ ' j. 

< In the mesakittie yir^i CKick* sat ; 8\iMlJng^ ^ind 
bridfing> and tossing her 'h<^d^ aVff §h^' vi^Hrt. vtifl 
^^eMingJ^at itotemn^fbMtda^of Jfar^NireH toli'^kia 
Tt^ At length; she<%»id aldtid, ««Oh the ekt^'t 
to Whfoh^h^ eyei harf H^to ^)^d»ed%hat dkyl^' -- 

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DOMBBV^ AND soft itf 

^^'Pc^wkadl your* -eyes ha^iibeen obened^ my 
de«- 1 '* rep«tt«i Mrl Chick. '^ iui - . ! . : ... a 
<«01j» dm't talk totiYteJ/? said Mb. OhiekU'^ Mif 
yoiis:ca» bear to kb^me in this itate,.aiid'not4uk iwi 
what; liie:;]iiatter ia^'yiMi ha^i ttfttev hold -yonvi tiogiie 
for ev^Jf.*'*'* ■■-"' ix/lH • .. » .i - ...s-, .i 

<«.^What^'xf' tlie riiatt«r,'my dearM^ askei Mr; 

Chicle^-' .*-'-• i'-' . ;■'•;•••'-... ! I. _ w 

^To think^^^iaidiMrti. Chick;>isi» state of sc^i- 
loqujTf M tivat she slibttid etfcv/haf« cooceiVed^ the base 
idea d€W)0diiectilig;«>l|er8el£ witii~«our< family ^ b^^ 
marriage with Paul ! To think that when- die was 
playing at Jiorsefe witK that, dear child^wli» 1» now in 
his "gmW-^i never liked it at'thctt ii i ft t « «. B He should 
haverl(eQli>hiJ&g eoch a doobk-i^^ioed dengfrl )J 
wofp^er-'die was ae^er afraid that vdmethiMg^wotihi 
happ€n^t» her.' She is fortimate if m9llbtng:doe^.'^ ^ 
^ I :r«U§y ^oaghtr fny 4eaiy^' said Mr. Chiek 
slowly, after rubbing idle farictge-of his nbse for katsit 
time wkh his^^mew^paper, <*that you had ifene'^on 
the same tack younelfy^ailaloiigy until this nsomti%% 
and had thought k would be 'a coitvebient' tKin|^ 
enough^ if it- ieould have' been- lirought tiboiie.'' :<:<>. 

: •N&Si ^ickifistandy burst ifltotearsy and told -Mr. 
ClMck>thQt if he wished ttytratopte upon' her with hU 
boots^ hC'had betterdO'it."' - ■ '- 

** But with Dlicr«tia To% I iifaive doiie/' said Mrs. 
Chick, after abandoning herself to her feelings fck 
some minutes, to Mr. Chick's great terror. ** I can 
bear to resign Paul's confidence in favour of one 
who, I hope and trust, may be deserving of it, and 
with whom he has a perfect right to replace poor 
Famiy if he chooses ; I can bear to be informed, in 
Paul's cool manner, of such a change in his plans, 
and never to be consulted until all is settled and 

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iS$ ROMBEV.AIiaSOiff 

dfitenmood) bat doceit I can tud bear, and vitk 
Lncreda Tox I have done* i It is better as it la," 
aid Mrs* Chioky piouslf; f' mnch:betteic jtwoaJd 
iNive been a long time b^ofe Iconid have accdmao- 
dated iwftelf comibrtabfy.with her, after ^ir; .and 
I really don't know, as Panl is going to' be very 
gDOid^aQd these are .people, of caaditio% that she 
would have been quite presentable, and migbt. not 
have comproinised niyseU; ..Ther^ ^ .{Mroridaice 
IB everything $ everything tvteks for :tbe beast; I 
have been tried ttnlay, biM^ >apon the whofeyl don't 
regrcftit-:- < .» ■. ' • . • .* 

In which.X3hristian v^^xoX^ Mrs. CUck dried ,her 
fcyesf'and smMidied her \^ and sal^ is l>e<»mie a 
person calm twdfa: a great v^roiig* Mr»> CUck, feel- 
ing Jus fiawQi^lhinesfl nodoubt* tookiSn eady.oppor- 
tunity of bdiRg. act down at -a. street-vComcir and 
walking -away, whisding, .witb bis fiho^&lders vuy 
WNch raised* and his bfUids ia his pockets. 

While poor. excommfiQiGated Mkbs Tox, who, if 
she w^K) a fawner and teiKl-eatei;^ v^as.^iat least aa 
b9Plesst fmd a constant one, .and luld. ever borne a 
^thful ftiendahip towards, her impeacber, and bad 
been truly 4ib^bed and swallowed np m. dewotttMi to 
tbe.twigiiifiCeBceof >(r.Dombey — ^wbile [poor ex- 
communicated Miss Tox watered' her .plants with 
herteaiis, and fel^tet it i^aswinlet liit Pdncess's 



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DOMBeir AND' son it) 



' Chapter XXX 

.! THE. mr^^YAf, MEWOBM 19^ MMtllAm^ 

ALTHOUGH the enchanted house was no 
more, and the working wbrld had broken into 
it, and was hammering and crashing and tramping tip 
and down stairs all day hngf keeping THogtms in ah 
mcessant paroxysm of Da^klngy^from sunrise to sunset 
— evidently convinced that his' enenriy had got the better 
of him lit ladt, ahd was.theii s^cjcit^ the pfehiises in 
triomphaht defiance — ^there was, dt fii^ no other great 
change in tfie hlethod of Florence's life. At night, 
when the workpeople went awayi the house was 
drearjf and deaerted .^jgain; ahd Florence, listening 
to their voices echoihg through the hall iaind staircase 
as they departed, pctured to herself the cheerfU 
homes to which th&y were retumixig, and th'ethildren 
who were waiting for them, and was glad'' to, think 
that tliey Isrere nierry arid "^eH plea^edtyj^^^ " 

She welcomed back the eveppMJMS^sih old 
friend, biit ft caJie ticycjM^f^Li al^ed' face, and 
looked more kiid^*'^^'™. 'Fresh' hope wis in ft. 
The^Jjeautifiil IsfJ^who had soothed and caressed 
her, in\yr^'?7^w>m In whid;i her heart had been 
80 W5gfg» ^^8 a' spirit of promi^ to her. Soft 
^i^grm of the^brtght life dawniiigj'whdi her father's 
4tion should !te gradually won, arid all, or much 
ejll'd be restored, of wTiat she had lost on the dark 
4 wherf a toother's love had faded with a mother** 
lastVeath on her cheek, moved about her in the 
twili^t and wer.e welcome company. Pe^ng at the 
ro8y?hildren her neighbburs, it was a new and pre- 
R^ sensation t6 think that they mig^t so6n speat 

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dfltaiiiiQed; but deceit 1 can mei ftetf, afi^^ 
Lucreda Tox I have done. - It is better as 
aid Mrs* Chick, pkviisly; "mwchtbetttCi 
h§we been a long tome befoie Icodd hate a 
dated iftyaelf comfortabfy with her, aiteril>iM 
I really don't know, as Paul is going to "* 
gDOid^ and these are people .of coaditk>n, ^ 
would haye been quite presentable, and «» 
have comprooiiwd myself. Theresa a I 
IB ew^thiog; cverythfeg works f^ -^ 
have been tried towiay, but, ^xfion the wi^ 
re^etit." - ' y 

In which Ohristian spirit, Mrs. £Wek j 
eyes, and smMMhed her lap, and Mf •jj 
person calm mKlec a great wrong* Mr. U 
ing his uawocthioesa no doubt, took an eauyJ 
tunity of bemg aet down at a. strr-" " 
walking away, whistliBg, witfc hw 
vmA raised^ and his hands ia his pockets. 
While poor excommmjicated Misa Tox, i 
Lweie a fawner and tood-eatcc^ was.iat ' 
constant one^and h*i ever 

.^%nfam2a 
8»Vi]e, as al>^ 
sTfns. , • 

' ^^J^ysoan.tob.,^^^^^^ 

'^ erv noon T»r*%., 17 1^1 • r- 



her impeacheTi 



encirci 



I up 



mde^oi 



*;ery eoop nor 



^ Edith, hent^^her ht^a'd a fe'^^^y.?^ 

for sonie few. n^ments rero^^^^^^ >er ov 

Florence was ^^en more s^tbC' 7^^ "^^nner^ 

SUijbM FJorejq^qe to a dwir ' ^ 

^9Wft:,,Eloreac^,Iopking'i 



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^Hite 



?^!d 



DOUBSY A^IA SpVi 191 

lag. at iu.bea«ty» aqi "WiUk^y leaving th^ haad. in 
hcr«* . . ! • 

^^ Have you ,been akMie^ F)cin3Qise,«iace I :|ira« here 
last?" • . i : . . . .... 

«< O^ yeai " miled Florence, haadjy. , 

She hesitated and €^ di»wii her eye» j, for |ier 
new mamma waavery earnest in hjci: loojc^ and the look, 
was intently and thoi]|ghftfuUy fixed, upon l^er face. 

<^I — I-«Tnam ns!^ t^^be aloney,'^^4 Florence. 
** I don't mind it at all. Di and I pass i^rhole days, 
togetbcTy -siQaieMnles*''. Florence might have said, 
wMe weekalandmootha*,,, .. m . 

*« la Di yowr maid, Jo¥q ?/' 

** My! ; dog, ; jnamma/' sai^i Florence, laiigjbing^ 
^ Snsan is my maid.". . , 

f* And these ar/e y94r,rooms»",saHl EdkhyloQl^-^ 
ing round* ^^X wur noi;,sl^9iwn..t|^^sfi, ix)oma-.thq 
other day* Weni«V}t lui]^then),impi;o¥fd,Flpraice. 
They eh^ be, made ithe* prettiest im jthf 1 Jbouse.,''. 

i^K I aa^ht changi^ them^ mamma," .mum^ 
Florence ; ^<&ere ia cne tt]> stairs I sboufd, lilw m^c|i 
better." . . • 

<< Is this not high enough, dear girl ? " asked Edith,, 
^niimg*' . * ,1 ' I < > . 

** The other was . my br^erfa room," , s^id 
Fiofience, ^and I ai^.v^y Jopdofrit. J would 
have spoken to pafia aboiit it wb^ I. came l^ome, 
HBdMod'tbl workmen jbem, a^d e¥^y^)iing chaqgi- 

'^^^awreno© drnppedrhar ey^s, jiwit .the same^'iook 

^d makiB hiji; falter agiiin. ' 
\cC9 f-^^bttt I waa/ afraid it might distress, him i and 
i^yott said you would h^ihmifit ^gaip soon^ anamma^. 
jRid are the mistrts^Sxiof everything, X deterraipyd to 
flhVe cotlrage and^a^k y<Hu" • »^ t .. rv . . ., . . 

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192 DOMBlfcV AN» CrON 

Edith sat looking at iK^, Witiv her hiiUiaat eyes 
intent upon her face, until Florence raising her own, 
she, in i^er tum^ wkfadrew tier ga2ey and turned it 
on the ground. It was then that Florence thought 
how di^erent 'Chifl'iady's beauty was, from what she 
had supposed. She had thought it of a proud and 
lofty kind : yet her manner was so subdued and 
gentle, that if she liad been of Florence's own age 
and character, it scarcely could haiFe invited confi- 
dence Vnore. ; ' ' •■ 

Except when 'a constrained and titttgaht reserve 
crept over her ; and then she seemed (but Florence 
hardly understood this, though ^she co«d not chdose 
but notice it, iind tiurik about it) •aa If she were 
humbled before Florence, and itt at^se. Wheo she 
had told iliat she was not hefmamma yef^ aind when 
Florence had called her the mistress of everything 
there^ this change in' her "Was <pikk and 4Mtartling ; 
and now, while' thi^ eyes of. Ftorenoe rested on her 
face, she sat as thefftgh she wbuld Jhave shrunk 
and hidden fi^om Jker, rather than as one. about to 
love and cherish her, in right of such a near oon* 
nexion. ' •. « : . - 

She gave Florence her ready promise, about her 
new room, and said she would give directions about 
it herself. She then ask<ed'8ome questioiis conoen- 
ing poor Paul ; and when ^ey had sat in conversa- 
tion for some time, td\d Florence ' ^e had come to 
take her to her own home. 

'**We have come^to Ldndon ppw, my mother 
and I," said Edith, *^ and' you shail stay with us 
until I 'am married. '■ I wish that we should know 
and tiiist each other^ Fl<*fai^se." 

•••Yott are very kind to me,'^ sttd Floicnce, 
*' dear mamma. How much I ihankiyoil ! '^ 

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DOMBBY AND SON 19I 

'< Let tat 99f oow, foi^ Jt mnyi be the best oppor- 
tunity ,'' continued Edith, looking round to ape that 
they were quite alone, and speaking in a lower. Toiee, 
** that wben I am niarried» and ha^e gone away for . 
some riveeksy I. shall be easier at hearti.if yoa will 
come .home ^here. No m^t^r who invites y^u to 
stay elsewhere, coBle home .l^ere^./ It is better to be; 
alone th9i>-rwhat I< would say is,'' she addied, check* 
ing herself, ^^thlUCr I know w^U yo» ^re best at home^ 
dear Florence^'' 

" I will icome heme on the wery day, mamma." ♦ 
*'Do so. . I Tely OB that, prpmifie. Now, pre- 
pare, to come with me». dear/ girl* You will find me 
down stair^: when you lare r^ady." « 

Slowly and tboMgbtfully did Edith wander alone 
tlu:oi^h the mansion pf which ^^he was so 4QDi|.to' be 
the Is^y : mid' little heed took shepf all the elegattQfl 
and splendour it b^n to di^lay*- The as^e 10^ 
domitable Jiaughtioess of soul, the samp proud scorn 
expressed in eye and> li]^ fhe same fierce beauty, 
only taflled by a seQ«e! of ji$s own littje worth, and of 
the little woi:U»of ever^fthiBg around it, went througl^ 
the grand saloons; and hall^ Uiat had got loose aqnong 
the ahafiy tretSi i|niiraged^nd,i;ent themf^W^ The 
mimic roses ^on the waits, ^^od flopra werei set, jrpumt 
with aharp thorBs^. that tone bet bremt; in every 
scrap of gold sa dazzlitfg tp ,the ^e, sh^e saw >some 
hatefol aiiompf her purjcbase-money ; - the broa4 high 
mirrors showed iber, at full li^gth, a woman: with ? 
noble quality yet; dwelling h her naiWe, who jv^as 
too.fidse to her bettei: .self, {md. too dieba^ed aod lost, 
to saye heri^lf. V She bejiei^. that/ali thia wasjso 
pbin^ more*orJes9> u^ all ey^s, that '«[he had bo ^fi- 
scmrqe or .power of self^ssertion. but in, fvide s> and 
with this pride, whLQb tortured her owq heart, a^ght 

II. o 

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i94 DOMBet AND SON 

atid day, she fought her fate -ottty braced it, and 
defied k. 

Was this the woman whom Florence— an innocent 
girfy strong only tn her earnestness and simple truth 
-^ouid so impress and qudl, that by- her side she 
was another creature, with her tempest of passion 
hushed, and her very pride itself subdued ? Was 
this the woman \irho now sat beside her in a carriage, 
with her arms entwined, and who, while she courted 
and entreated her to love and trust her^ drew her 
fair h^d to nestle on her breast, and would 'have 
laid down life to' shield it from wrorng or harm ? 

Oh, Edith ! it were well to die, indeed, at such 
a time ! Better and happier far, perhaps, to die so, 
Edidi, than to live on to the endl 

The Honourable Mrs. Skewton, who was think- 
ing of ainything rather dian of such seiitiftients — ^for, 
like many = genteel persons Who have existed at 
various times, she -set her face against death alto- 
gether, and ofejeftted Vat the mention of any such low 
and levelling upstarth'^ad" borrowed a house in 
Brbok Street, Grosveni» Square, from a stately 
relative (one of Iht F^enix l»>ood), iit4io was out of 
town, and who did not object to lending it, in the 
handsomest manner, fbr nuptial purposes, as the- loan 
implied his- final release and acquittance from all 
further loans atd' gifts t6 Mrs. SkeWton and her 
daughter. It' being necessary % the" credit of the 
friiflii^ tb make a handsome appearancie at such a 
time, l^si' Skewton, with th^ assistance of an ac- 
eomiinkLating tiradesm&n resident in the pariah of 
Mary<i>le-bdne, Who lent' out' all sorta of articles to 
the mobility and gentry, from aservieeof plate to an 
afmy 6£ tobtmen, chpiped into d)is house- a silver- 
headed biitlef (who was charged extra on that 

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DOM BEY AN0 SOU 195 

account, as having the appearance of an ancient 
family retainer), two very till fKmng men in livery^ 
and -a select staff of kitchen-serTants ( so that a 
legend arose, down stairs, that Withers the page, 
releafsed at once from his numerous household duties, 
and from the propulsion of the wheeled-chair (in« 
consistent with the metropolis), had been several 
times observed to rub his eyes and pinch his limbs, 
as if he misdoubted his having tfferslept himself at 
the Leamington milkman's, and bebg stiU in a 
celestial dream. A variety o£ requiMtes in plate and 
china being also conned to the same establishment 
from the same convenient source, with several mis- 
cellaneous articles, ineluding'a neat <?hariot and a 
pan* of bays, Nfrs. Skewtoa cushioned hersdf on the 
principal so^, in the Cleopatra attitxide, and held her 
court in fair state. 

" And how,*' said Mrs. Skewton, on the entrance 
of her daughter and her charge, *« is my charming 
Florence? You muMcome and* kiss me, Ftoence, 
if you please, my love.*' • » *• 

Florence Was timidly stooping to pick out a place 
in the white part of Mr8.iSkewton^8 face, when that 
lady presented her ear, and >relieved her of her 
difficulty. . / • 

« Edidi, ifty dear,'* 'said Mrs. SkeWton, « posi- 
tively, I — st&nd a little more inf the light, my sweetest 
Florence, fer'a Moment.'^ ■ 

Florence 'blushingly complin. * . 

« You don't frfenieiiiher, dearest Edith," said hft 
mother, ** what yota were When ydu were about the 
same age as our exceedingly i^eciousf^Fterence, or a 
few years younger ?'*^ • • 

•« I have long forgtttt€ft,= motheiP.** ' 

« For po^ively, my dear," said Mr«. Skewton, 

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196 POMBSY AND SON 

^ I do thmk that I «ee a decided resemblaiice to 
what you were theiiy id oar extremdy hadjotiog 
^oung frieixl. • And it shoms/' Bald Mrs. Skeirtao, 
u a lower Yoke, which coiiTeyed her a^iuob that 
FlorcBce was in a Tery unfiiiiahed atate, .<^vhat 
oiltivaiion will do/' 

<< It docs^ indeed/' was Edith's «teni reply. 

Her mother eyed her nhar^y for a mooMnt, and 
fceliiig hersel^^OD msafe ground^ said, as a <divecsioD: 

** My cluHffBing FlorfeBGe^ yen .nrast come aixi 
kiss me oaee more, if yoa:pieaset my love^" 

Florence com^lied^Kif conose^fand agam impnaied 
her lips on Mffs^rSkewloo'stear^ ' r. 

*«And you haveheardi no ^bt, my dariiog 
pcft»" said Mrs. Skewton, detaining her hand, ^ that 
your papa^ whiMii we. all parfeedy adore and dote 
upon, is to be married to iny dearc^st Edith this day 
week." ,. .» • ..:)/ .• ■ .. -' 

'T*'I knew it' would .be very soon," returned 
Florence^ ^ but not exacdty whmu'* ^ 

" My darling Edith/' ufgjed her. fi)other« gaily, 
** is it psusiUe you ha?e not told Florjewcei" 

** Why sho^dd I teUrFJbi»«M»?>f'.6he r^tumedi, 
so HUdde^y aod har^hly^ that FlorenceHzoukl scarcely 
believe it was the same voice. 

Mm* Skewton UMiHi'told Florf^e^as another and 
saier dLversiqn, that <her father w^ cooing toidinner, 
and that he would no doubt, be chjNfnii^^ aurprised 
to see her ; as he had Mken .lait night of dresang 
m the; City^ -aiid had koowM jWhiitg of Edidi's 
desi^ the^^^cuti^n 9^ which» ^Ci^oi^ding to Mr«. 
gkewUm's^^Hpe^tion, woirfd. throw hun into a 
perfect ecstasy. Florence w%t . troubled , to hear 
this ; and her distTjC^ be^aoiiet.ao kfleiiiiai the ditioer- 
fiour approached^ that, if ^e,had= kMrni^ jiow to 

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DOMBEV AND SON 197 

frame a^ ^entreaty to be isuffiercd <tb return homey 

ixrithottl involving her ^ther ib her explanation^ she 

^ironld haYe hurried hack on foot, bareheaded, 

breathkssi and alone, rather than incur the/ ride of 

meetiiig his displeiasare. ■ . < - <* ^ it 

.A^ the time drew nearef , she^idd hardly breathe: 

She dar^ not k]^P6aeh a window^ lesfc-h^' should 

see teriironiFYhe streets She dared not gOAp staks 

to hide her emoti^Q^ lest, in passing oat at the door^ 

she^^hould mtk him' uaeK^ct^y^ besides '.which 

dread, she fek as thou^ she never could come baol( 

stgsan^Xf she were summoned ta his presence. In 

this conflict of her fears^ she was sitdngby Cleopatra's 

cou^, end^avoufkigto underi^tand and to reply to 

the bold discourse t>f that lady, when she heard his 

foot npon the stair. • = . . 

«I hear 'hibnow<M'' 'cried FlcM-eace, starting^ 
«* He is coming ! " 

Cleopatra^ who mher juvenHity waa always play- 
fully di^sed, andrWhol in her self-engn^ssment did 
not trouble herself about thel nature of this^ agitation, 
pushed ^Flor^ce-beyad her cooch, and dropped a 
shawl over her,' prefatory to givihg Mr. Dombey 
a rapture of surprifie* It was soi«puckly done, that 
ina moascnr Fk>iieilce bisa^d his awfiilstep in the 
roofd*' ,v " » •■ -' • * ] M ■ » . i 

H& ' saluesd hh intended mother-sin-law^ and his 
intdnded'-btide. ' The' str^iigei sound' of .his ^roice 
thrilled through the whole frame of his child. n 
^'^fy cfear Dombey/'^iiBaid^Cleopatsa, ♦^^come 
here and tell me how your pretty Florenieeris.?- - 

<« Flbrencte' ib ' very ^ well,''- said Mjr. iDoihbey, 
advancing towards! the couch* I • .u^ 
..^.At home-? '*•:>»."> - 
^ At home,'' said MfJ Dombey. 

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I9S DOM BEV. AND SMI 

^'Mf dor Daubef^* retonied Cleopatra, wit& 
bowitduiig vivacity; ^now are yoa race yon are 
Qol'deceiviiig me ? .1 don't know what my dearest 
Edith will say to me whw I laalb^.. siich a deciara- 
tion» but upon my honour I am a&aid yon are the 
fiJiot of men, my deal' Dombey^" 

Though he had been ; and had bom delected on 
the spot, in the .most enormoiHb fibdwod that was 
ever said or done ; he ,coidd hardly have been more 
diackmcerted than he was» when Mrs. Skewton 
phickod the shawl ftway» tnd Floresioe^ |)ale aad 
tremhli^g, roae<before :hun like a ghosL i{e had 
not yet 'recovered his presence of minda. when 
Florence had run up to him, d^fi^pcd her hands 
roond his OQck» kissed his face» aad hurried out of 
the room. He looked round as if t^ refer the 
matter to somebody else> but Ediih bad- gone after 
Florence, instandy. . ^- 

'* Now» confess, my.dear I>ombey/' said Mrs. 
Skewtont giving him her: hand, ^^ that yoM never 
wefe more surprised and pleasediin your! lUe." 

<« Lneter wa8.more.8urprised»^' said Mr. £>ombey. 

"Nor pk&sed, mydearestDombey^ " returned 
MrSi Sikewton, holding up her fan«H 

« 1 — ^yes, lam exceedmgly glad tib mq^ Florence 
here," said Mr. Dombey. He appeared to considef 
gravely about it fot a mwiieiHt and then: said^ more 
decidedly, f^ Yes, L really; am. very glad iodi^ to 
meet Florence h«fe/' ... 

«SYou wonder how she pomes b^re I '^ saki Mr& 
Skewtoo,.**dotft you? V . ,, 

€i Edith, perhaps—^ — *' suggested Mr» £>ombey. 

^ Ah ! wicked guesser ! " > , replied CW<^tra, 
shaking her head. <^ Ah ! cunning, cunning man ! 
One shouldn't tell these tbiiigs ; > youc sex, n%y dear 

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DOMBEY AMD SON 199 

Dombey, are <o vain, and so aptto abuse our weak- 
xiesses; bot, yov know my open soul — ^ery well.; 
immediately/' 

l^liis was addressed to ope of the Tery tall yovng 
men who aodounced dinnen • 

*^ But Edith, my .dear Dombey/' she continued 
in a whiq)ef, ^^when siie cannot have you near*her 
— ^and as.I tell' her, she cannot ex^ct. that < always 
— ^-"iirill at least hahre near her something- or somebody 
belongmg to you. WeH, bow extremely' natural 
that is! And in this spirit, nothing wculd'^keep 
herefrom riding off'' to-day to'*&tch' our darling 
Florence. >^' Well, how exbessivdy channing that is I " 

As • she waited for an answer, Mrw Dorr^bey 
anisiiTeredf '^ EnyiBeatly «)/' => 

** Bless you, my dear Donbey, for that . proof ;of 
heart ! '' O'ied detspatra^ squeezing his hand. >« {But 
I am growing too serious ! Takb me down stairs, 
like fl^ angel, and let ns^see' what these peoplolntend 
to give us f6f dinner. Bless yob, dear Dotiibey ! " 

Ckopatra skipping ofF. her <«oucbi with' toli^rable 
briskness, after the last benediction, Mr.:- Dombey 
took her arm in his and led her oerenioniously down 
stairs ; one of the very tdk young mm on h«re^ 
whose ekgih of veneratioQ was «nper&ctiy' developed, 
thrusting histtmguefinto his cheek, for the entertain- 
ment of the other very tall young nuin Ob Inrey as 
the couple- Cwntdihto' the dining-roomi. i ^ 

Florence and Edith were alrehdy thf nc, and sit- 
ting sidti^ byiMe* .: f^'lorencc'^uld h^e risen when 
her father entered, to resign) her diairto him 4 l^t 
Edith' opedy pot hki hand npon her«armi atidlMr. 
Dombey took an- dbpoeite. place at the rbund. table!. 

The conversation^ was alniost,entirely st^stained hy 
}df^. SkewtOQ. Florence hardl^dared to rais^ hejfi 

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soo DOMBBT AND SON 

eyes, lest they sbttold reveaL.thertraoesof tears ( far 
less dared to speak ; and Edidx never, uttered one 
wordy unless in answer to a question*. Verily, 
Cleopatra worked' hardy for the establishment • that 
was so nearly clutched r and. verily, it should have 
been a rich one to leeward heci ... I 

«^ And 'SO your prepanttioos <are nearly iniAed at 
lastv my dear Diombey^? !- said plodpatitf when the 
dessert was put upon the tablet asd the silver-headed 
botkr: had withdrawn. <<Even. the lawy»s' p^e- 
paratiohs! " . 

^<Yes^ madam,'' replied Mr. Dctttbey; <<the 
deed of settlement, the professional gentlemen inform 
me^ is noW' ready^ and as I was mentioning to you, 
Edith has only to do us the ftvoiv to «yggest> her 
own time Ibr its execAifeioD." 
' lEdith sat likeKavhandsome .atatuer; .]» told, as 
silent, and as still.' . ' <.i>- ' . «.. >• •:, 
' I. << My dearest bve,'' aaid Cleopatra, <^do you 
hear what' Mr. .Dombey saysi Ah, my- dear 
Dombey ! > r ./aside /to tthatr gentleman, *^ How her 
absence^ as the .time.aipproached, vdninds me of the 
days, when that most agreeablei of creatures, her 
papa, was in yooT! situalaon l* ^' . 
, **l invve ^nothing to ^suggest: It shall ) be , whten 
you please,? said Edikfa^ iscarcely Ifwkingi qiver .the 
table^iit Mr^'Dombey^ ♦. • i..- '* : , • » 

<<To-morn>wi-'i8uggested Mr.;^Domb9y. 

«* If you- please.^'- .- \' -. !...,.. 

^ Or >woiiid nextday,^' said Mr. JDomb^t '^wt 
your fingaigementl^ better i V . oj ,1 n-. : i 

"(^ I ' have no ei^agements«' J i am always, dt your 
disposal. .. Let it be whenyooiKkQt:' . ' . 

!•* No engagements, my dear E<iithl '* remonettated 
her modier, «< whenyoui arein aniosttei^abfe .sute 

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l>OMB«y AND SON toi 

tf fLxxttf fall day long, and Kave a* ihouwrnd and one 
appointments witii all t6ttaiof tracktpec^Ie { " 

•^^Tlley ire of your making/- Retimed. Edith^ 
turning on- be# with- a' slight oontractieni of her. fatow* 
** Yon and Mr: ^tnbey cin arrange bebwcen ykMu" 
<< Very true iiide^» my love. Mid inoat oomad- 
enite ; of yon 1 " said Cledpatnu' ^ My darliQg 
Florence, you must really come and kim nr onoe 
fflorei if you please,' my dear f ^.' 

Singular c6indfd£fnte9 that these gaahea of interest 
in Florence hurried Qeopatra away.irooi aknost 
erery dialogue inivhieh E^th had a-ahareyJioweyd- 
triiingJ Florence had'<ertainly oerer undeifone 
00 much embracing, and .perhaps Jiad> never beeo, 
oncoiisciottslyy so useful in her life. 

Mr. lykkdbe*! #ai^ far firom, quanellii^iikiiis Own 
breast, with themamMsr of His beantiAilbetrotlied* He 
•had dia^ good reas6ii for sympath)^ with, haughtiness 
and coldfM«By whieh.is found in a feliow^eeltng. It 
flattered him to think' kavw these deferred to hia^ in 
Edith'^ ease, and seiemed' to haveliio will apart frosB 
his. It flat«e»ed Mm to picture ^to himself, this 
Itf'oud' and stately womanvdoing the hoaonrs: of his 
house; and chillin|[ his guests after his Grwn.fluioiHir» 
The dignity of J>>mfaby and SoitiWould be height* 
ened Hod maintained, indeed^ b sudi hands. • „ 

So thoaghl Mr. Pomley, whence \tras.kA.akKie 
ot &e Uitfing'-table, and mused/ i^n his past 9iiyi 
iutm<e fortaMfs: findiiigino undongeniality in an air 
<^ scant ani gloora^ state dibt ficrvaded the room, in 
colom* a darii< brown, With biack^hatchmentSiof |ttc* 
tares- -blotchhlg tfaie ilralls^.ani twenty-foiUr. black 
chairsj^th allffik)^ as- many nails in them as s(^ many 
ebffins^ wait^' l&e motes, upon die thiiesMdof the 
Turkey cai^pet^ and two exluwisted negroes holding 



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tot DOMBBY Atm SOU 

op two wkbered blanches x>f canddabra on the tide* 
board, and a imiaty tmellprjevaililig as if tlie ashes 
of ica thoatand dinners wer^^eatombed in the sar- 
copkagua below it. The owner. df tlie« bouse lived 
roncb abroad; tbe air of Engbuid addonl agreed Jong 
with a niembeMif (be Fee«i^ fatmly; and the room 
bad gradually put ttadf intx> de^r W still deeper 
monmiBg for ham, umil it was become so funereal as 
to want notbing but a body in it tp be ^^i» c^«n{^ete. 
No bad representation of tbe body^ for the nonce, 
ha bis unbending form, if not ia bis attitude Mr. 
Dombey. looked down wtt) i^: odd depthtf .of the 
dead sea of mahogany on which the fruit dishea and 
decanters lay. at anchor : aa if the sobj^cta of his 
thoughts were rising towards the surface; one by. one, 
and plungii^ down again* Edklk was^^ttere in all 
h^ majesty of brow iind: 6gfff»i .and^rcloae jb^ her 
came Floienoty with her* timid bead tqi^^ed to bim, 
as it had been, for an . instant, • when , ahe left tbe 
room ; and Editb'a eyes upeii ber, and Edith'a hand 
|Wt out protectiiigly. Arlittle figilre ina low lyrra- 
dhair came spnnging next into :the:ligbt».and looked 
lipon him wonderingly,* with its hiiigHt eyea and its 
old-y^ttng v&ce, gleaming a^ in. tbe flickering. of an 
evening fire. Again bame Florexlceiclose u^on it, 
and absoibed hfta ^ whole, attention^ Wither -as a 
fore-doomed difficulty and dis^pai4t||ieat to him ; 
Jttdieiiier as a riv^ \irh0 had loro^sed him in Jiia way, 
and might again i, whether as bis ch^d^ Df i^hom, in 
his successful wooing, ]q(» could stoop j^ thinky as 
cboming, at'8Ucb;a tifn6,Jbo b^.no moifB ^tranged ; 
or wheUier as a hincto him>tbat the 9)e(^ appearance 
of caring for his own blood should b^, nviintained in 
his new w&tions ; he best knew. Indifferently well, 
perhaps, at best ; for marriage c<)mp^fHKl marriage 

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0QMBEY. AND -SON 203 

akapsy and ambitious scenes-'rAtiU blotted here and 
there ixdth Florence — always Florence— rturned' up 
so fa«t^ and 80 cosifasedfy, that he rose, andr wen^ up 
stairs to escape them. . 

It -mm. quite late at night b^re candlea were 

brought ; .6x at poebent they, made Mri» SJcewton'a 

head ache, she complained ; and in the. meantime 

Florence and Mra. Skewton talked together (Cko* 

patra being Tery anxious to keep her close to her* 

sel£)y or Flo9ence;touched the piaaa8o|tly lor Mrs. 

Skewtoq'sideUght^fto. malbe . ivcr^oaentton of a few 

occaaioas^in jthelsowae of the eveniog^ .when that 

affQOtionale lady Was impelled to solicit another kiss^ 

aofd wlMch alway^^ Itappened after Edith '^had said 

anysthing. They were not many, however, for Edith 

sat apitrt'by ^open window dmingthe whole ttm^ 

(in-j spite of her mother's fears that she would tak^ 

cold), andr remained, there lintil Mr« Ddmhey took 

leave. He was serenely gracious to. Fkurence when 

he did so ; and Florence went to bed in a room 

within Edith Vw> haf^y and hopeful, that shethoiight 

of >hcr late self ar if it. were someotlier poor deserted 

girl who was to be. pitied for heit sorrow ;. add in her 

pity, flobbed herself to sleep.. . L i-.- 

The week fled fast. : There were drivesi to 

millioersy drcssasakers, jewellers,. lawyers^ Aorists, 

pastry-cooks; and FIodsb^; Was always of. the 

pacty. Florence Was io-gp Jto the wedding; 

Florence was to cast off her mournings and. to wear 

a hrilHimt dress on the oc^oa ' The i milliner's 

intontiona on the subject; of this dress^-Mihe millineif 

was a Frenchwoman, and gEeatly resembled Mrs* 

Skewton — ^were so .chaste and elegant, that -Mrs. 

Skewton bespoke one like it &r herself* The 

miUuMr said It, would becgme hen to admiral;ioB^ and 

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204 DOM BEY AND SON 

that dl the world woM take her for tiie j9a% j 
W/ariter. ', 

Th« yketk fled iaster. Edith looked at aodusg 
and cared for nothing. Her rich dresses' ca 
homey and wei e lr ie d on^ and were loudly coatfnc&ddl 
hy Mrs. Sk^rton and the miiiMiert» and were pit 
away withoit a word ' from her« Mrs^* Skewtn 
made their plans for every day^ and executed Uiei& 
Somethnes Edith sat fa the carriage when tfaqr weot 
to make purchases; iibmedmesi when it was 
afasohtely necessary, sliei went into' the shops* Bat 
MkB. Skewtpa cooducted' the whole hoshwtfis, what- 
erer it happened to be; md EdiU^ looked on » 
tmintere^ed and with as- much 'apparent lodifiereDce 
as if she had ioo' concern in it. Fldrence na§fit 
perhaps have thooght she was hai^gfa^ and hstloi, 
W that she waa ne^cr so to her. 'So FJoreocc 
^nencfaed her wonder kihe«>'gratiaide^heiieTer h 
broke out^ and soon sebdoed it. • 

The week fled faster. ' It had nearly winged h 
flight tKway. The J^ night 9f the week, the nigbt 
bdRHre> the marriiige'was conne. : In the dark room 
<— for Mca. Skewton's head was no-better yet, though 
she expected to recover permanently to-onorrow— 
were, that kdy, Edith^ and> Mr. Z>ombey. Edidi 
wasaithcropen.u^idbwJeokmgoatintb the street; 
Mr. Dombe^ and Cleopatcart Were talking' aoftlyoo 
the eohi It was <^owbg / late $. and Florence 
beiog ftdgned^ hedgonelA bed; •- . ^ 

^^MydeariDombey/? said Cleopatra, ^yoami^ 
leave me Florends tckroomswi when yon* deprive 
meof my.aweetesti£d8th:'V ,• > 
,r. Mr.'iSoQibey said 'he wieuld, with pleasure*: 
' ** To have her dbotit vi^ here, wli»p yOu are both 
at Paria^and'te think 'that^/at hei* age^ I Jam asshttog 



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DQMBEY AND SON tos 

a the foripaticHi of iier mindy my dear DQinbey/^: 
aid Cleopatra, " will be a perfect balm to. me in the 
tJLtKeawiy shattered state to wbkl^I sh^U hereduted." 
Siiith.. turaed her head suddenly. Her listless 
.natmer was ^xcha99^ed> in a mom^nt^ to one of burn- 
ing interest, and^ uns^n in tiie. darkness she ^Itepied 
closely to t)ve^ ,<;onyi9riiation< ■■ r. .. ., 

Mr. Dorobcy would be delighted tot leave PIoronoQ 
io such adajrable guardiafnshi^ . m/I 

** My dear Donibey," returned Q\eop^trByt**k 
thousand thanks for- your good Opinion. I feardd 
you were going;, with malice aforethought, ad the 
dread^ lawy^ssay-rthose- horrid proses J — to con- 
deiBB me to utter.soHtude.". -\,' v , .'= ■ 
** Why do me so ' great an injustice, . my dear: 
madam I " aaijd.Mf. Domb^4 } : 

<« Becau^my tjbarining. Florence, tells- me 90 poiti-r 
tively she must go h^e <to*niorrow,^' . returned 
Cleopttray^fthat^.Iib^gian l^'h^ afraid^ m^ 'dearest 
Dcymbey, you were quite a haahaw*" * . 

•• I assure you, madam !«;' saJdvMr^ DqadbeJ^* ** I 
have Ifiidno commands oaFlor^ce; and if I bad, 
there are no ^OiAlnands like yottr wish." 

•« My dear J>6»bey," replied Cleopatr^ « whaiti^ 
i^ourtier you, ate ! vTW^h I'll not say; so; dtherV 
foe c^urtiersu^hav^lno heart» ^ndyours pervades your 
chsammg^Uk and feharacter^ . Awliftre you feally 
going .«o early, ni/4ear:Doiiibey:' " •- 

Oh, indQ^4 it W9s late, and- Mr. I?OQ»bey 
(eared he mu^t* ■^■,. !i ■:• t*'. . 

•« Is this-^iacti on is it all a .dream ? " Jisped CleQ?t 
patfiiw ^^ Can I bdtbye, myrdeare&t Dombey, thai 
you ai? : (coming bad^ to-morrow imornin^to deprive 
qae of iny< sweeticon^awonj. n^y own.Edithi! *' 
. J^r* Dombey^ who w^saccustomeditotoke^hings 

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zo6 DOM BEY AND 8019 

nterally, reminded Mr*. Skewton that they were to 
meet first at the church. 

** The pang/' «aid Mr«. Skewton, ** of consigmog 
a child, even to you, my dear Dombey, is one of the 
most excruciating imaginabk ;' and combined with a 
natiffalty delicate constitution, and the extreme 
stupidity of the pastry-cook who has undertaken the 
breakfast, is almost too much for my poor strength. 
But I shall rally, my dear Dombey, in the mommg; 
d6 not fear fdr me, or be uneasy on my account : 
Heaven bless yt>tt ! My dearest Edith ! ' she cried 
archly. " Somebody is g(Mng, pet.'* 

Edith, who had turned her head again towards the 
window, and whose interest in their conversation had 
ceased, tt)se up in her place, but made* no advance 
towards him, and said nothing. Mr. Dombey, with 
a lofty gallantry adapted to his dignity and the occa- 
sion, betook his creaking bo<>ts towards her, put her 
hand to his lips, said, ** To-morrow morning I shall 
have the happiness of claiming \hk hand as Mrs, 
Dombey' V' and bowed himself solemnly out. ' 

Mrs. Skewton rang for candles as soon da the 
house-door had closed upon him. With the candles 
appeared her maid, irith the juveilSle dress that was 
to delude the world to-morrow. The dress had 
savage retribution in* it,* as such dresses ever have, 
aiid made her infinitely older and mcH'e hideous than 
her greasy flannel gown; But MtW Skewt<Mi tried 
it OB with mincing • satisfaction ^ smifked at her 
cadaverous self in the glass, as she ^KHight of its 
killing eflfect upon the Major; and suffering her 
maid to take it oiff agatn; and t6' prepare her for re|>o6e, 
tumbled into ruins iike a house of painted cards. 

AH this time, Edith remained at the dark window 
looking oAt into the street. When she and her 

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DOMBEY AND SOKE 207 

mother were at last leftalo&ey die moved from it for 
the first time that evening, and came opposite to her. 
Xfae yawning, shaking, peevish figure of the rootber, 
with her eyes raised to confront the prond erect form 
of the daugfateiry whosr glance of fire was bent down« 
ivard upon her, had a conscious iair upoo it, that no 
levity or temper could conceal. ' 

♦« I am tired to deatl^'* said she. ^ You can't 
be trusted for a moment. You are 'worse than a 
child. Child 1 No child weo^ be half so obstinate 
and Tofdutifiil/' 

** Listen to me, mother/' returned Edith, passing 
these worda by with a scorn that would not descend 
to triiifrwidi them; << You must remain alone here 
until I return." ■ , . ' 

^* Mttft remain alone here, Edith, untM you cetnm I " 
repeated her mother. * » 

«« Or in thait name upon- w'hich I shall call to- 
morrow to witness what I do, so falsely, and so 
tthameftilly, I swear I will refiise'the hand of this 
man in the church. If I do not, may I fall dead 
upon the pavement." 

The mother answered wsth a look of qiliek^alarm, 
in no degree diminished by the look she met 

<« It is enough," said Edith, steadily, ^that we 
are what we are. I wvM hav.^ no youth and truth 
dragged down to my level. I will have no guileless 
nature vmdermined, corrupted, and perverted, to 
amuse the leisure of a woFld of mothers. ' . You know 
my meaning. Florence must go home." 

^Yott are an idiot, E'dith," cried her angry 

mother. ** Do you expect there can ever be peace 

for you m that house^ till she is manried^ and 

away?*' • ' =..-.:;-. 

** Ask me, or ask yourself, if I ever expect .peace 

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loS DOHBBT AKOt. 80K 

in that lioiise/' said her daughter, ^aad you know 
the answer^" . i • 

^ And am I to be told to^^xyght^ after all my pains 
and laboor, ^aid when you are goings through me, to 
he rendered independent^^'.her mother almost shrieked 
in her .passion^ while her pdsied head ihook like a 
leafy ** that there is cormption land contagion in me, 
and that T ^Im not fit coVbpany for a girl i What 
are yon^'pniy^ What.are you ? '* 

'. *^ I have put the ^^estion to mytelfy^.,sdid Edith, 
ashy pale, and pomting to the window, <*nujre than 
once when I have been sitting therey-^aad scmiethiDg 
in the faded iikcncss of my sex has wfandeijed pant 
outside ; and God knows TrlKive met wiilh my teply* 
Oh mother, mother, if you had but left.iime lo my 
natural: Jaeart when I too,wa«ia gkl-^ younger girl 
than Florence — ^how different I might, have been 1 " 

S^tnibk. that any ^low of anger wastiuselesr here, 
her Mother re8train€;d)'lien5elfy and £eU< a whimpering, 
and bewailed that she h^^livH loo long, and. that 
her only tHild had castuher ofl^ and that dul$^ towards 
parents was forgotten in these evil days^ and that she 
had. iheardi^udnatufail taunts, and scared for- life, no 
longer. : •"••' ' • • . >;"-i.:-ri.--' 

** If one is to go on Itrin^ through 'continud stenes 
like this^'* she whined^ /^ i faim-sure it would be much 
better Jsr. me to tfttvkiof iiome means of . putting an 
end to myexisteace. , Oh J. The idea of your jbcang 
myidaughter,.^ Edith, and addressing me in; such a 
strain! '* '". .fn<. . . r- • -•■• i 

'f BetweenuB^mothcff,^' returned Edith, mour-dfolly, 
^ the tilde for mntual-^risproaches :ifi pasl^' ' 

" Then, wiiy do iyou irevivc it? . Whimperied her 
mother. *• You know that you are laccratiiig me in 
the ><;r«elle8t manneri ,iY>ou know how seiisitive I 

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r^ to foikiiidiiess. At4ueh a moinent tioo» when I. 
t^e 80 mvHh to think of, and am ndtncaliy anxious 
.appeal to the best advantage ! I wonder at you, 
dith. T'^ make yow motto a fiaght upon your 
edding-day!-'*' :i 

EditH bent the ssttne fixed look upon her, as she 
>bbed' tnd rubbed ker eyee; ^andisaid^ in the same 
»w steady iRoic^i whiish had neither risen nor ialkh 
nee she first' addressed her, *^I have said,. that 
^lorelice must g6^4ioitte.'' : 

<« Let her ga4 '^ «iried the afflicted and affraghted 
arent, hiastily> ** I am sure I am wiliiikg she should 
o. Whatisthttgirltome?^. • : . 

** She- is so muish toi'me, 'ihatrradiear thim oom* 
nunicatey'dr sdFer ^ be'Commuoicated to' hci^' and 
;rain of the' evil' that bin my breast; mothior, I would 
enounce you, as I would (if you gave me caus^) re^ 
kounc^hiaofih the churchto^ioffowi'^replied Edith. 
< Lea^^iierlaldQe. (She' shall aoV^while Loan 
Qterpose, be * tampered ^wkh a|id tahited. by the 
essons" I* have learded. ' This m no hard condition 
m this Wtter night." . ■ . . • . : 

^ If you had proposed it b a fiUalimanilerv Edith/' 
vhined her mother, ** perhaps. not r i^ery • likely aot^ 
But mich tfsOteaaliAf CMiag wonis^-r^'^^' 

» They iire ptfst aad at an eodri^etweenma now/' 
said Edith.* ** Take your own way,: oKnthcr 9 sbare 
18 yoi) piestse in^hatyiMi have gained ; spedd^eBJow 
make iwach o^'-it; and be ae happy > as i you wilL 
The oWjeicrof tMAives is^^Oii^>Iwicefoith:iet uif 
vear it' silently^ -^ My Hp0>Ai«: closed upbn the* past^ 
from this hour. I forgive you your part.iA to«i 
morrow's Wi<Jked]ieife; Nb^Godtok-giii^craiy ownV 

Without a trenior- tin her voice, or fiame, and 
passing onward with a foot that set itself upon the 
II. p 

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%to DQMBEY AUD 8<W. 

neck of erery soft emodoiiy die bade her mother 
good nighty and xepoired to ber own room. 
. But not to rest; for there was noi rest in the 
tumult of her agitation when alone. To and fro, 
and to and fro, and to and fro again, five huncked 
times, among the splendid pr^pacaticms for her 
adornment on the morrow ; with her dark hair 
diaken down, her dark eyes flafthiqg with a raging 
Hght, her broad white bosom r!E4.with the cruel 
grasp of the relentless hand with which she ^Miroed 
it from her, pacing up aod> down with an averted 
head, as if she would .avoid the sight of her own 
hk person, and divorce h(?r«elf from its companion- 
shsphT Thus^ in. the de9d time of the night before 
her>brickd, Edith Granger wrestled with her pnquiet 
spirit^ tearkss, firieiKUess, silent^, proud, and un- 
compkuning* 

At length; it happened that shr touched. the open 
door which. led into the ritom where Flofience.lay. 

. She started, stopped, and teoked. in* 

>A light vsas burning th^^ and sho^ired her 
Florence in her bloom of innoc6i)ce and beauty, fast 
asleep. £dith Jield he^ ..breatti, and felt hecself 
drawn. on towacd&i her. ^ 

Drawn nearerr never, nearer; yist$ at l^st, drawn 
so near, that stoopitig down, she pressed her lips to 
the gentle hand, that Jay. outside the bed, and put it 
softly to her neck. Ito toooh was like th^ prophet's 
rod of old upon the rock»' Her tears v^a^ijag forth 
beneaith it, as she sank upon her kfifi^s, and laid her 
aching head and streaming. Ifair v])oi^ the pillow by 
ito side. 

Thus Edith Granger pasted the night before her 
bridal. Thus the sun found hw. on her '-bridal 
monung. 



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OQUBBT ^n>- SCM sk 

Chapter XXXI 



THE WKDD1NO 



DAWN» wkh. its pusionkM blank 6ce» tteala 
shiTeftng to the churdir beneatti which lie« 
theiiwt of Iktie Paul and. hit moijber, aad looks in 
at the YiiiMlairs. >It is cold fod dark. Night 
crouches yet» upon^the ptviemeiil^ aad broods, sombre 
and heavy, in nooks and eorners 4>f th^ buiUiAg. 
The steepleiclocky perched up above the boiises» 
<^nierging . if om . beoeadi another of the countless 
ripples. in the' tide of time that regularly roll and 
break -on the eternal shore, is, greyly vtsiblfy like, a 
stone besicoe, recordii^ h6w .the sea flows on ; b^t 
within doorjv dawAi at first, c«i only peep at iugl|ti 
and see that it i». there.. 

Hovering'£eebly rowid the ^urcht imd looking 
in, dawn modsm and weeps for its short reign, and 
its tears trickle on the wiadowrgbss, and the trees 
against the chnrchwwaU bow their 'h^id«9 aiid ;^ng 
their many.haads in sympathy* Night, growing 
pale before k,. gradually fiides out qf the. churchi but 
lingers m tht vauka belowi and sits.>»poQ the coffins. 
And^now comes farightiday, bumishmg tlie steeple- 
clock,- and le^deniag die spirts and drying up; thp 
tears of da1r% and stifling its.cbmplainii^; ainlthe 
scared dawn, following the night, and chasing it 
from its last rdftge^ tfirmks. into the vauks itself and 
hides^ with a frightened face^ among the dead, until 
niglit returns, refreshed, to drite flout. 

And now, die mice, who have been busier with 
the prayer-books than their proper owners^ and with 
the hasaocks, more worn by their little teedi than 1^ 
human knees, hide their bright eyes in their holes, 

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tt% DOiCBBr AND SON 

and gather close together m affright at the resounding 
dating of the dnir^h^oor.'-* For die Beadle, that 
man of power, comes early this morning with the 
sexton; and Mrs. Miff, the wheezy little pew- 
opeiier*J^i mighty dry old lady, i ipueiy drn6e4 
widi'tiot an ^inch of Mtiisss anywhere ahout 'her^--# 
iSlso he^e, ttnd h^i^'been \i^aiciiig sit the'churdiigate 
half an hour, as ht*r j^ace is^ fcfr the BeiMiie; 

A viaejgary faee has- Mitb Mif^ and a raottificd 
bbnnec, and eke ^^thinty soul- for sixpences and 
shilHngs. Beckoning to stray ^ple to qome into 

SWs, has giVen Mrs. Miff ab air of m ys te r y .; and 
ere is reservation' in the< eye of Mrs. MHF, as 
always knowing of a* so^m* seat, but having her 
sus^itions of the fc«. ' «There is no .audi £ict as 
Mr*' MifF^ flor has Ihere been, these twenty years, 
and Mrs. Miff would rather not aUude to him. He 
held 66nle'4>ad opfaioni, it would seem^ about free 
Aeats-; and thodigh Mrs. MiflFhopcs he OMiyfae gone 
upwards^ she coddn^t po^iblf undertake to say so. 
Birsy is MfiBi' Miff^ thiv nidndng^attitfae chnrdn 
dtior, bleating. a^ dosthig^the altar «koth, the carpet, 
and the cushions^ and mbch has ■Mrs.MifiF to say, 
about thi^' wediiiing they af«^goin{| to have.^ Mrs. 
MiC' lk= toM, that the 'newitlraiture and akeiatioBs 
in' the house' cost fytfive ilhousand poimdiif they 
eoA a penary ;'i«an4( Mrs* Miffilias hoard, upon the 
best'HUthorilyi thttt tlie lady hisn^t'got a sixpence 
whei^wiibi^ to bless herself. Mss. iMifffemembcra, 
fikewite, as if it had bap{ietied yesterda;^ the first 
wife's funeral, and theft the' chrisomiag^ 4dk1 then 
the other funeral \ and Mrs* Miff sayS|.by the' bye 
sbe^U' toap*and->*wa«^i'(thiat 'em'taUat presently, 
^kist tile coMpany: arrive.' Mn Sowodn, the 
Beadle, who 'is sitting in the>snn 6pon the ohurch 

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XmUBEV. AliD SOV »3 

6tep8i all .this dme (and sddoni does anythiiig eke, 
excepi, in cold weather^ otdBg by.cfae fire), approve! 
of Nuts. MiFv diaoonxnc, and asks if Mrs. M^F has 
heard U aaid^ that the lady u oncommoo haodaome? 
The ioformadfm Mrs* Miff has recetTed, bctog of 
this.^iiatQi^.Mr. Sowndi the Beadle, who, ihoo^ 
orthodox and corpulent, is still an admirer of female 
besulj^ ohKrves, with . osctioii, yel^ he hears she is 
a spamke^ao expressiaB that' seems aomewhat 
{oTc^bifi(^ Mrs. :Miff, ocwodd^ 6om any %8 but 
those «f Mr« Sownds the Beadle. 

Iq Mr. Dpmbey's honae^ at <this same tisK^ there 
is great stir and battle, more, e^iecially among the 
women ; not one of whcin has iad a wink of 4leep 
since four o'clock, and^aU of whom' were fuU 
dress^ befoee six., Mr. Towlinson is as ol>ject of 
greater con3ideriition than usual lo the^hbosenuud, 
and the qoo)i says jrt^ hreakftst-time that one wedding 
makes nahy^ which the bdoaemaid can't believe, 
and dogoTt think trv^atall. Mr.? Towlinson fesertes 
his 8e&i^iiiei|t8 on. this^ ^lestioii; bdog rendered 
MUftething gloomy, tb^ the^gagement of a foreigner 
with whiskers (Mr. Towlioson is. whiskcrkss him- 
self), who had h^en hired i to acconpany the happy 
pair, to FVis^iAod who is r busy packing t the new 
chariot, fo 're^)ect of ithisi pek-sonage, Mr. Towlin^ 
/M>a: admits^ : piessntlyil that he nerer knew of any 
good tbaf -eftp' come of' &ceignersf and .being 
charged %'th0 ladies with prejudice^ says, look at 
BoaCkpart^/who was at the htoadcof 'em,- and see 
what ie wns always ieip to I.- Ti!Khicli-the housemaid 
says Js, very. troe^' u -.. '■ ;•' . ' •■- .; , '■ i 

The '^'p^su^rcook is hard at work In Jihc; ftoiareal 
loom «» Bi:^)cr;f9uwel^ andithe very tallyoimf^men 
ate ,bt|dy inking OQ*,^ Oa(>of the very itall young 

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st4 DOMBBV AMD SON 



^knadj sadk of dieny, and hi» ey» 
J to bec om e £xed in his head, and to WMt 
objects witfaout seeing tbem. i he ytsf tv 
young mam is ooosdoas of this failing m lumeifi 
and infocms his comrade Ihat it's his *< exasemin.'' 
The vecy tail yomig man would say txciiemeoi,;te 
his speech is ha^«> 

The men who pby the bells hate got scent of 
the maniage; and the manow-bones- and dearen 
too; andabrms band too.' The^first, are jiTactiaiig 
in a back settlement near Battlebridge $ the second, 
pot themselves in oommnoication, diroogh th^ i^ocf, 
with Mr* TowlinsoBy to whom Uiey offer terms to 
be bought off-; and the durdy in ^e person of m 
artfol trombone, larks and dodges round the ccMner; 
waiting lor some traitor tradesman to reveal die 
place and hour of fanakfast, for a bribe* Expecta- 
tion and excitement extend further yet, and take a 
wider range. From Balls Pond, Mr. Perch brings 
Mrs. Perch to spentf the day with Mr. Dombe/i 
servants^ and accompany them, sorreptkiottBlyy to 
see the weddmg. lii Mr. Toots's lodging!, Mr. 
Toou attires himself as if he ^ere at least the 
Bridegroom : deienmned to behold tlie spectacle b 
apkndonr £roin f secret comef of the gailcnr, anf 
thither to cbnyey die Chicken : fctf it is Mr. Toots's 
desperate intent to point out Florence to the Cfaickeo; 
then and there, and openly to say, ** Now, Chicken, 
i wiUnot deceive you any longer ; the frigid I have 
sometimes mentioiMBd to you is mytelf ; Mam Dom- 
bey is the bbjcbt' of my^ pa^on; what are jm 
opinions. Chicken, in this state of things, and wlutf 
on the spoilt 4o yoa advise?^' ' The so^iiiuqh-to-be- 
astoiMhed Chicken^ in the nieStn>«^ilej*dipB his beak 
into a tankard of strong beer, ifi Mr. Toots's 

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DOMBBY AND SON 115 

kitchen^ and pecks op two ponndf of beefsteaks. 
In Piiacess's riace, I/ums Tox is vp and doing ^ for 
she too^ thou^ m 90t€ distretB, it resolved to pot 
a shillkig k the hands of Mrs. AfiiF, and see the 
ceremony which has a cmei fascination for her» from 
some k>ncly comer. The quarters of the Wooden 
Midshipman are all ahve ; fer Captain Cutde, in 
his ankJe^jacks and with a hnge shktNcoUar, is 
seated at his breakfiut, listening to Rob th^ Grinder 
as he reads the Marriage Service to him beforehand^ 
onder orders, to the «nd that the Captain may 
perfectly vnderstand the solemnity he is about to 
witness : for which .purpose, the Captain gravely 
lays injunctions on his cfa^^in, from time to time, 
to <<pttt about," or to << overhaul that; 'ere article 
agam," or to stick to his owd duty, and leave the 
Aniens to him, the Captain ; one of which he 
repeats, whenever a pause is made by Rob the 
Grinder, with sonorous satis^tion. 

Besides all this, and much more, twenty nursery- 
maids in Mr. Dombey's street alone, have promised 
twenty famHies of little women, whose instinctive 
interest in nuptialB dates from their cradles, that 
they shall go and see the marriage. Tndy, Mr. 
Sownds the Beadle has good reason to feel himself 
in oHioc^ as he suns his portly figure on the church 
steps, waiting for the marriage hour. . Truly, Mrs. 
Miff has cause to poonce ob' an unlucky dwarf child, 
with a giant baby, who peeps m at the porch, and 
drive her forth with iiidignation t 

Cousin Feenix has come over from abroad, 
expressly to attend the marriage.' Cousin Feenix 
was a man about town, forty years ago ; but he is 
still so juvenile in figure and in manner, and so well 
got up, that strangors are amazed when they dis- 

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2i6 DOMBEY Amir SON 

cover iateht iwMdw in his latdat^i^t face, land 
crdws' feet iB.hjs eyes ; audi firat obterve liiniy<Dot 
exactly xeriain. wb^ fae: wz&m aerosSc a room, of 
going quite: straight td^Vkerelke wanls to go* But 
Coulin Feenix, gctttng -ajp at half«fpa£it-atYen o'clock 
or soi'ifi quite anotheritbitig from Cousin Feenix 
got. lip; and ii^ery ^kn„ ladeedy he^ looks, mbfle 
beingshaved at Lcmg'ft Hbtel, in 'Boad> Street. 

Mf« ^Ddmbey ktave* his dreasing-room^ amidst a 
£^end tirhisking away of the woUi&nmk the stair- 
case, wh» disperse in! all directions, ,wi<^ a great 
rustling, of skirts^ except. Mrs. f Perdi, whoi bei^g 
(but ti^atshe alwajs is) ip an interestiDg sitoadooi 
is not mi»ble,faad is oUiged ior.flace' bim^ and is 
ready to: sink . 4rith > confuaion as she curtseys ;*t-rmay 
Heaven avert all^ evil.conse4ueBc«s ftom the ^ouse 
of Perchi Mr. Dornbey. walks ivp. to the drawing- 
robm, to^ bide hia.rtime. GOTgeous are Mr. Dorn- 
bey 's new blue coat,'falra-(«o]ottred pantaloons^ aiid 
laUc waistcoat.; and»whi^r go^s abolit the house, 
thatMr^' Dornbey 's hair :is curled. 1 ..' . -{ 
./A double^ knock announbea the.ailriTal of the 
M&jo|:« who is .gorgeous 4fMi^ and: weara: a whok 
gc^nium ui his .J^yttonihole^ sod has his hair curkd 
tight and.erisp, tas wdljtheNativef knd^xrsi 
> ** Doiobey 1 '; says ^ the Major, putting' o«t both 
hadd8,./*H6*w aicybu?" '. ! 
,'. "'Miijor;^' siys'Mp* Dombcy* .^«.haw are Yot! ** 
:; " By !< Jove; -sir/' «say8 the Majqi^'^Jocy Bw is in 
such case this moi!ning^::8ir,''i-^aiid f^en? he hits 
himself hasdiupour the breast-^'' in :8uth tiase this 
RiorBiilg^ 8ir> that, idainnc^ Dombeyi he.^haa half a 
mini to nuike a double marriagetof it^isir^ and take 
the.raother."',-- ..•'.,''':..'.-• ^. 

.Mr* Dombey fcmilea; but fittntly^^eveirlforrihiiD; 

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for Mr. Dombey keh t^t hf^iagomg ta hfi related 
tQ the motJierrBnd tbat, under thxM cu(!Qin8taii^er» 
Bheisnottobejokedabont^. • > . 

** D<Hirf)ej," saytfUie Major^ seeingAthisy^^' I gm 
HfDu iJG^'^: J coDgratulate ycd^ Domtey^ '^ Byitbt 
LiQE^dy^ir/- sa^s the Majorif.*'you'are aiore «o be 
en^ied^itl^? dl^y; thai) asty ;man ii^ England 1 ^* . //• 

Ilere agatifi Mr.t- Dombey 'a aaseni' ia* qualified'; 
becaute he) is g^iog /t»«<»ifa: a: great distmclioiir on 
a. lady ; aod^ no doubly nheja to beeavidd moat i 

" As to Edith Grang^y w^y!^ pacisuea the^Major^ 
'^tbfupe. ia j^ot a "sMviian in all Europe bat might — 
and wouldy sir, you' nfiU allo^, Bagatotb to.add^^ 
aifd woiild**-giTe,heFeanB, and hpr eai-*Hng^ t6o} to 

l)ci». Edith, Granger V place". ) 

. *^ Ypu..ar« gppd,^oagh.to< aay »> Major,"„8j^ 
Mr. I)ombey. ; j 1 

^^:Jpombey/' .returns .the Majer^ **yputkat)Sr it. 
Let us. havj^ no /alsel delioicy* You iknotr it. Do 
yopi knoff^, «it^ or : dq . )fou not, . Dgit^bey ? ^' says . th^ 
Major^ abnoat iftia passi^m ' .'. ^ n .- ' 

«Qh, reallyy Miajw-^-^" ,: ..' i 

« Daypin^) sir,'f jretoHts, ebe Majoiv ?*'d9' yi>u ^kAow 
that^i^t, or. dOiijfiiMi no|?. Dombey!. la old Joe 
yotffrfirioDd?.: A^e W^ 62V«tbl^ibotiDgro£ unreseFved 
iotimapjf^ Do!iibpy,'thali'.'niiay rjustify a^-m^-rHa blunt 
old Joseph B., sir — ^ifi' ^p^iog put^ tor .a«>iI;to 
t^e^Pffea qrder^ X)ombey,:.aQ4^tQriBeq>imy dtstadce, 
and tQL4tand,oii.fi>rins^".-r ;j t.o .!..'. 

...*fMy 4«tf Mj}jHr:;PagistQ!ek|i" fays Mrv^Ddmiiey, 
with i^.gratifiecl!seir,)^'yott.are quite rwarm.v' -it. 

.,*'Jiy Ga^,:,svr^'*:say.«tth^ JVIai»Ei "I api warm* 
Jo^h Br doea.^Qt, disny-ii;, Domb?^.. . He is warmi 
This is an occasion, sir, that c4ls, fojrth all ^/ the 
ho^asi; 1 sym{»adMes cei^ai&iiig ip an old, infernal. 

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2tS DOMBSY AHD SON 

battered, used-up^ invalidcdi J. B. carcase. And I 
tell yoa vhat^* Dombey — at wch a time a man mdat 
blurt out what he feels, or put a muzzle on; and 
Joseph Bagstock tells you to yoitt* hce^ Domtey, as 
lie telU his club bdiiodyoor back, that he never will 
be muzzled when Paul Dombey is in question. 
Now, damme, 6ir,"^iconcludte the Major, with great 
firmness, ** what do you make of that V 

••Major," says Mr. Dombc^, ""I assure you that 
I am-res^y obliged to you. I had no idea of 
checking your too partial frietidship." 

**Not too partial, sirf" e^tdaims the choleric 
Major. • <^ Dombey, I denv it ! '' 

^ Your fUeMiship t will say then,^' pursues Mr. 
Dombey, "on any account. Nor can I forget. 
Major, on such an occasion as the present, how 
much I am indebted to it." 

•♦Dortibey," says the Major, with appropriate 
action, << that is the hand of Joseph Bagstock : of 
plain old Joey B., sir, if yo« like that better ! That 
is the hand of which His Royal 'Hi^ness the kte 
Duke of York did me the honour toi observe,' sir, 
to His Royal Highness the l&te Duke of Kent, that 
it was the hand of Josh : a ro^h and tough, and 
possibly an up-to-snuff, old yagatbond. Dombey, 
may the present moment be the least unhappy of 
otir 'lit*s. Gdd bless yoa ! ** r " ' 

Now enter$ Mr; Cark^^ gorgeous likewise, and 
smiling like a wedding-guest indeed. He can 
scat^l]^ let Mr. Donbey's hand go, he is oo con- 
gratulatory; and he shakes the Major's hand so 
heartily at the same time, that his voice shakes too, 
in accord with his ^arms, ai it comes sliding from 
between his teeth. 

••The very day is atispicious/' says Mr. Ovker. 

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OOHBEY AND SON 119 

«Tlie brighfeeiit and most gemal weather f I hope I 
am not a moment kte ? " 

^ Punctual to your time, sir," says the Major. 

** I am rejoiced^ I am sure^V says Mr* Carker« 
*< i wasvafraid I might bt a itw seconda afier the 
appointed time, for I was delayed by a prooeuioo of 
waggons ; and- 1 took' the liberty of riding round to 
&ook Street " — this to Mr. Dombey^— <« to leave a 
few poor rarities of flowers for Mrs. Dombqr* A 
man in my positioiv and so distinguished as to be 
invited here, is proud; to offer some homage in 
acknowledgment of bis vassalage: and as I have no 
dcNibt Mrs. Dombey is overwhelmed witb what is 
costly and magnificent ; " with a strange glance at 
hu patron ; ** 1 tope the very poverty of my offering, 
may find favour for it." 

^Mri. Dombey, that is to be," returns Mr. 
Dombey, condesonidingly, ** will be very sensible of 
your attention, Carker, I am sure." 

^ And if she 18 to be Mrs. Dombey this morning, 
sir," says die Major, putting down his coffee-cup^ 
and looking at \a» watch, ** it's high time we were 
offi'V . . , 

FoKth, in a barouche, ridtf Mr. Dombey, Major 
Bagstock, and Mr. Carker, to the. thurch. Mr. 
Sownds the Beadle has long risen from the steps, 
and is in waitai^ with his cocked hat in his hand. 
Mrst» Miff curts^s and proposes chairs in the vesCry. 
Mr. Dombey prefers remaining in^the church. As 
he looks up at the; organ. Miss Tok: in the gallery 
shrinks b^hmd the hi leg of a cherubimion a menu** 
ment, with cheeks like a young Wind. Captain 
Cuttle, on the-coBtrary, stands up and waves his hook, 
in token-" of welcome and encouragements .Mr. 
Toots in&ms the Chicken, bebiad his hand^ tfiat 

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ato 0OMBE¥'^AinX'S€lil 

fheinidile gendfemsD^lie in thefshm-ccdoured puita- 
I00DS9 18 the father of his hff^ 'The. Chicken 
hoarsdy'^ha^per&Mr. Toota that he's asstifr a.cOYe 
at eTcr- he ekcf \xA that it is- within the resonrcev of 
Srtienae .te:;dottfale likn up^ witii- dne bltn/- in ihs 

< '- Mrw Sivitfnds' and^Mrs^i'MifFr ak'e- eyeing Mr« 
Dombeyi'ffoHi a iittld dift6iiio^Mliirheti the doiiw of 
appro^lduiig • wheeUfi is heard^ and^'MrdtSownds .goes 
oaty Mrs* ;MiiFy meedng Mr. Pombey's efQ .as it is 
witbdlpLwii' fram^ the presujnjttuoiis maniac up'stjdrsy 
who'Sidutes him with Bo.inadii'urbam^f idr<^' a 
cortsd]^ andAnfornis hun; that -she belieEvl^&.hisr*** good 
lady^'' is come. Thto there is a crowding, and a 
iriiisperingat the ^looff and the:<gdod lady enlsera^ 
with a haughty step. " i -i ; . ./• i / . 

There is no sign upon he£face^'«f kstmigblfA suf- 
fering ; there 18 no ttiioeii^hRSFiiiaixieFy of the wionaui 
on the bended knees repobin^ her ^ wild heady in 
beaiitifid abaindooliiieiit^ updn this pillow of .the deep- 
ii^ girk That girl^ aH * gentle, aiid • Ibvdy ,. is at her 
side'-Hi/ 'Striking '■ ^contrast * to i her . own disdain^ and 
defiant figure, standing there, composed, erect, -iii-> 
scfii&bl^ of iwil, . rhdpkbdent i aad majestic* dm the 
zenith of itS'thsaritis, yet beating d6#n^:8nd -tread^ 
ooi'the admira^on that;«b challtnges. <> ..p . ,t ^ - 

^Hereiisia poMlse while Mr. '&»\|niBr.tkeiiBeadle; 
gHdeft intb the re^try ibr'<thf ^dergyman ahd'tlBrUl 
Alt this . judctore, r.iMrsu ( Sjtewton i speakb' to.' Mr^ 
Bonibey^$iniore>«fcidtinat^ and emphbtn^y) tbknhef 
Gostom .i%-oand moving ^t theiiitom^ timi^, close to 

Edt^. i . f' ; . .. f'' • .' .-...• t.7.' ., ; 

, ^f My deariDdmbey," aaya jbhe .gQodjaamma,t<<L 
feaA^I mnsfe reiinqniah darling Ffarence sifterraU^and 
"^JtBrtogohckHeiasahehfirsdlffropoMdb]; A 

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DOMBBV^ Atm SON sts 

my loss of tp-dHy^ my dear Hotebefi I kd I ihaU 

^ Had #lie not better stay with joat^* tttatm the 
bridegroom. 

^I chhdc not, mjr dear Dombey. No, I think 
not -'I tItaiVhe better alone. ' Betides, my -dearest 
£dkk' wili be h^t naforal aiid= cofistMt goatdian "when 
yoQ return, and I had better not encroach upon liar 
trust, perhaBB. >8he ififftht i» jealodi. > Eh, dear 
SdithF' .... . / 

The affectionate maiiiihia pi-esses her daughiei^s 
arm, as she says'^is ;' perhapft totpeatbgher attention 

earneitty* • -^f • ' 

<« To be iteHbu8,'niy*dear 'Dombej/' she ttaomesi 
<< r w9l relinqiibih our dear child, and ^di inflictniy 
giDOnv npoflf her. ' W« hav^ aeetled that, Jdst now. 
She Mij undeMtttnit, ietit Dombey. Edith, my 
dett^,--«he My imderatands.*' i «• : 

'^Agaln, t&e good mother jirestea her dinghter^s 
arm. '*b/ir. * Dombey oftrs no additiond ' wmoofn 
8tratice;'fiN: the'jiclergyman and ckrk app^iir; and 
Mrs. Miff, luid Ut\ ebwodsiOie^ Beidte, groupthe 
party in their proper' placM m the idtar vaals; ' 

<< * Who giveth this wontim'tbobe.niflrrikl to^chii 
man?**' ''.••''^' ;» 'i '-'■■ * ,.i'Mt. '- 

'Gjttstik F1eeliix'<d^ that. ' He has Dome ftofb 
Barfeo^Hsfien om p«r^. <^ CoihfiMind ft,'' Qoudhi 
Feedix sa]rtfi-^i]k)d^tilped creaime^ Cousin Feeniic 
^^i^.itAtm ig^ do get 11 rich City-feUow im^^iie femily, 
let ttv 4how hiii^86me attention % leltis do fomething 
for him.*' .^ I*' :..'.-.'-• • i:.. ..: 

M / glvisihis. woman to be married to this inaii,^^ 
saith Coositi iFbfttlbe 'therefore; Gouain Feenix^ 
meanidg to gd^rn ii^ strlt^ht Hne, but turning ^ff )nde-> 
ways by reason ^f his w§ftd legSyigWefrtHo iltrrong 

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ta» D0IIB8V AND tSOH 

voOMP'ta be HMUTied to this iiian» at first — to wit^a 
bridesinaid of ^oiae condition, dietaiitly competed 
with the fiuttilj, and ten years Mrs. Skewton's juiior 
— bat Mrs. MifF, interposing her mortified bonnet, 
dexterously turns him back» and runs btm^ as on 
castors, iiill at the *^ good lady : '' whom Cousia 
Feemx giyeth lo be married to this maan ^cord- 
ingjy*' 

And will they in tbe ^ighlof HeaYen ^ ? 

Ay, that they will : Mr. Dombey says he will 
And what saj^BEdil^? ^;rWiU« 

So» from. that day fi3rw«|rd» Jbr. betl^ for worse, 
for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to 
loveaad to ditectsh, till, death do.. theoi fxirt, they 
plight tbm.ArOth to one 4i»ath^» and ar^ maiti^ • 

In a firiD» free hand, the bride subscribies her naiae 
innthe. register, when they adjourn to. the yestry. 
** There an't a many ladies oqiq^ here/' Mrs. Miff 
says with a curtsejF--^ look at Mrs. Miff^ gt such a 
season, is to make hermortUed boQiietgodoIni with 
a dipr--^f w^rites thek names like! this good: lady 1" 
Mr. SowQ(ls the Beadle ithxnks it is a trjuly iBfj^nking 
signature, andworUiy of the writer-'-^b, however, 
b^ween himadf and^cottseicince. 

Florence signs too, but unapjJauded, (or her hand 
shakes. All the party si^; <ik>u8ia. Feemx hst ; 
who puts his Bobk/yame intOA wrong pbce^.iaiid 
enrols himself as harii^ bosn h^ 4hat.nioming» 

The Majprnow salutes the bride right gaQandy,and 
carries out that brahch of military Ucftica in reference 
to all the ladies: notwithstandmg Mrs. Skewtoa's 
besDg extremely bard to kiss, and squeakh^ slirilly 
in the sacred edifice. The exaiople is fi»llowed 1^ 
Cousin Feemx, and ev«B by Mr. Dombey. Lastly, 
Mr. Carker, with his white teeth glistening, ap- 

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DOMBBY' AND SON %i^ 

IffOftchet&Kilitnore asif bemeani tobibe jier, than 
ta taste the sweeu jibaft lingff on her lips. 

There: is a glow upon her proud cheek, and a 
fladiiog in her eye0» that may be meant to stay hims 
but it does not, for he salutei her as the rest have 
done, aad.wiflhes her ail hafpiness. 

** If yingk^/' says he in a low Yoioe, ** are not 
superftioiiSy applied to such a union*" 

<<I thank yoiotm" &e /answers^ with a eurled 
lip^ and' a heaiiifig bosom. 

Bat» does, Gdith fed stiU» as on the night when 
she knew ; that Mr« Dombey- wnuld return to offer 
his alliawseb that C^ker knows her thoroughly, and 
reads her j?^ghitt and that she iii more degraded by 
hts knowledge of her^r than by aught else i Is it Icir 
this reasoo that her haqghtiness shrinlbB beneath hiii 
anile, like snow wiilun thehand that gra^it firmly, 
and that her imperious glanoedroops in meeting bia» 
and seeks the{gr0und^ 

** 1 JUQ. proud to see," says ^Mr. Carkcr, with a 
servile stooping of' his tieck, which the revelationa 
making by his eyeejuui' teeth. proclaim to be a Ht^ 
^ I am proud ta. det. that sny humble otf*ering ia 
graced by MrB..I>ombey'8 luuid» and. permitted to 
hold, so nvoureda place, iaao joyful aacucasion*? 

TtMNigh .she bends her head,< in answer, there ia 
somethibg ia^ the momentary action of her hand, as 
if ahe wouid crush the flowers it holds, and fimg 
them» wMi confeempty upon the ground. But, she 
pots the hand through the arm of hec new husband, 
who has been standing near, conversing widi: the 
Majer, and n prood again, and modonless^ and silent^ 

T&e carriages are oooe more at the cluirch-door. 
Mr. Dombey, with his bride upon his arm, condudts 
her thrott^ the twenty families of litde women who 

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%i4 EimiBBY AHtfSON 

are on the itepe^ kod every one of whdfti remei&kn 
the fashion and the coioqr^'of her every 'artkk <^ 
drdw from that moment^ aD4 i*eproclnces'if <m her 
del), who k fbr evep being married. CJeopatra and 
Conim Feenik enter the adme carriage. >= •■ The Major 
hands into a second carriage, Florence, 'aad the 
bridesmaid . who sonarreiwlyi eaosped bieing given 
away by mistake, and then entief» it 'himself^ and is 
fcUowed Iff Mr% Oarker. Horses prance and caper ; 
coachmen and footmen shine in ftoMsringi^ftvours, 
flonlrersy and niw*made: livencs. A^y^SImj dash 
and rattle throng^ 4iie8treclu<: 'and Jia tht^pan-along, 
a thousand heads^are tamed itstf look at then, and a 
thoiJBahd 4ober moraiistiri^vengei themtff^es Ibr-not 
being iharried tob^ chat < ^nsorhing^i by retfeotinf that 
these peopife little think ancfc' hip|aneBi can't last; 

iMisB Tc^ inuer^gea frbw^beiQ^ theiicherubim?s 
leg, whenall is ^^t^^and^ eomeV'Slomdy xiown ^frbm 
the gallery. Miss Tox'seyes ace' red^ and'her poeket- 
handkerc^f ik dbdnp. She^is^^onndefifffbut not 
exQ^iiatedyAnd'Sfaie hopes jheyvi^y b^ happy. - She 
qnite admiteto hen^lf^the BMt^ of the bridf^ and 
her.oira tcorananafeiirelyrfeeble and ^ed attractions; 
bat thcriatatelyiima^e'Of Mr; Dohbe)^ 10 hid lilac 
waostBoaty-and Hist^iwnNCobured pantaloons^ isipretent 
to hev.'inindyand Mi^::\I\>x ilreej^ afresh, b^MBd her 
m\i on lier fwtny • home to RrinsMs'tS' Blacs. .. • Cs^itain 
Gnbde^hnYing joined in «li thd anicsis^aiMk retpooaes^ 
with*n ^UeYOUtvgrqw^.feeift; jnve|i.tniifa:ovfed.>.bjr his 
seligtonsiexercisal ; (and in al pctupiBfui frinne «of . inind, 
pdrvades/tlie body 0f'tl»e.dni^cby<glazed;iriit id (hand, 
and*>i£iuia fte tablet' to:. thoii^mofyoi httleiPaiil. 
The ^fant, Mr. < Toot^ attended bjr 1^* haOM 
Ghidkini, JeaYcsthe buikfing in tbnnaili lofllore. 
The Chicken is: as yet iinaUe to»«labocate a.adieme 



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y 



I DOaCBBV AND SON siS 

' for wumiiig Florence, but hit first idea liat gaaed 
' poMessicm of htniy and he thinks thedoiMi^ im of 
Mr. Dombey would be a move in the right diraction. 
Mr. Dombey's servaato come out of their hidings 
places, and prepare to rush to Brook Street^ when 
they are delayed by symptoms of indisposiiioo on the 
part of Mrs. • Perch, wbo entreats a gkss of water, 
and becomes alarming ; Mrs» Perch gets bettfer soon, 
however, and is borae away ; and Mrs^ Miff, and 
Mr. Sownds the Beadle, sit upon the steps to count 
what they have gained by the affair, and talk it orer^ 
while the sexton tolls a fimeraL 

Now, the carriages aifive at the Bridals residence^ 
and the players on the bdls begin to jingle, and the 
band strikes up^ and Mr. Ptincb, that model of con- 
nubial bliss, ^utes his wife. Now, the people ran 
and push, and ^pressroand in a gaping throng, wiak 
Mr. Dombey^ leading Mrs. Dombey by the- hatad, 
advances solemnly into the Feenix halls. Now, the 
rest of the wedding party alight, and enter after them. 
Andwhydoes Mr. darker, passing through the people 
to the hall-door, think of the old woman who called 
to him in the grove that morning ? Or why does 
Florence, as tHe passes, think, with a tremUe, of 
her chikihood, when die waa lost^ and of the visage 
of Good Mrs. Brown ? 

Now, there are more congratulationa' -on this 
happiest of days, aod more- (Company, thbugh not 
much ; and now they leave the dvawing«>room, and 
range themselves at table in thedark^^brown dining- 
room, which no confectioner can brighlen up, let him 
garnish the exhausted negroes with ^s many flowers 
and love-)cnot8 as he willb'' • 

The pastry-cook ha» done -his dutyi like a man, 
though, and a rich breakfast is set forth. Mr. and 
II. Q 

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m6 dombby and 8<m 

Mr8. Chick have JDiBed the party, among others. 
Mrs. Chick admires that Edith ahoold be^ by nature, 
such a perfect Dombey; and is arable and con- 
fidential to Mrs. Skewton, whose mind is relieved 
of a great load, and who takes her share of the 
champagne. The very tall young man who suffered 
from excitement early, is hmtr ; but a vague senti- 
ment of repentance has seized upon hiQ^ and he 
hates the other Tory tall young man, and wrests 
dishes from him by violence^ and takes a ^iro delight 
in disobliging the conxpany. The company are cool 
and calm, and do nof outrage the black haftchments 
of pictures tooking down upon them, by any excess 
of mirth. Cousin Feenix and the Major are the 
gayest there; but Mr. darker has a smile for the 
whole table. He has an especial . smile for the 
Bride, who Tery, very seldom meets it* 

.Cousin Feenix rises, when the company have 
breakfasted, and the servants have left the room ; 
and wonderfully young he iooks^ with his white 
wristbands almost covering his hands (otherwise 
rather bony), and the bloom of the champagne in 
his cheeks.* 

^^Upon my honour," says Cousin Feenix, 
<< although it's an unusual sort of thing in a private 
gentleman's house, I must beg lea.ve to call upon 
you to drink what is uau^ly called a — in {Act a toast." 

The Major very hoarsely indicates hia a[^oval. 
Mr. Carker, bendii^ lus head forward over the 
table in the direction of CoUtan Feenix, -smiles and 
nods a gi^timany times. ' ., .. 

"A--^ia fact it's not ai-^ — " Cousin Feenix 
beginning again, thus, comes, to a dead stop. 

4* Hear, hearl". says the Major, in a, tone of 
conviction. .: i 



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BOIIBEY AMD SOU 

Mr. Carker mfdj cIsfN hit haadt, ivl 
forward oyer the table again, miles and noda a | 
many more times than before, as if he 
ticularly struck by this last obaervatioa» ai 
perswiadly to express his scnae of the good il hat 
donehinu 

<'It is," says Coosm Feenix, ^m otxMtkm m 
fact, when the general usages of Kfe nay be a little 
departed from, without iaspropnecy; aod fiMwgh 
I never was an orator in my ^St^ and when I was 
in the House of Commons, and lad the lionoai of 
seconding the address, was^— m 6ct, was laid wp far 
a fortnight with the consdoamcss ^f" 

The Major and Mr. Carker are so Bttch < 
by this fragment of personal iMStory, that 
FeesDiK laoghs, and addiessiag tbem indrndaaUy, 
goes on to say: 

<« And in powt of fiKt, whca I was denKA ii— 
8til], you kiK>w, I feel that a dnty derohrcf upon 
me. And when a duty devolves iqion an Engltsb- 
man, he is bonad. to get oat of it, in my otiiaion, 
in die best way he caa. Well ! onr family has had 
the gratification, to«day, of connecting itseU^ in the 
person of my lovely and acoonplidicd relative^ whom 

I now see— ^in point of fact, piesent *' 

. Herie there is general appose, 

"Bresent," repeats Coosin Feenix, feeHag that 
it is a neat poial which will bear repetition,-:*^' with 
one who--that is to say, with a man, at whom the 
finger of acocn can never — ^ia fact, with my honours- 
able friend Doifibey, if he will allow me to -caD 
him so.'* 

Cousin Feenix bqws to Mr« Dombey; Mr. 
Dombey adiemiily returns the bow ; everybody is 
more or less gratified and aHected by this exua* 

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stt DOHBBir A4lt> 80H 

oitlinryy imd ptshMyt nnprecedeiited, appeal to tfae 
iceliiigt. 

^I have not,'' eays Coiuki Feenix, '* enjoyed 
tfMMe oppoitiuuties which I could have deaned, of 
cultivating the acquaintance of my fncnd Dombej, 
and studying those qualities which do equal hoDOor 
to his hftadf and, in •point of ^ict, to his heart ; for 
it has been my misfortune to be, as we used to say 
in my time in tfae House of Commons, when it v» 
not the custom to allude to the Lords, and vfaeo 
the order of parliamentary proceedings was perhaps 
bnter observed than it is now-— *to be in — in point 
of fact," says Cousin Peenix^ cherishing his joke, 
with great slyness, and finally <bri&gmg it out witls 
a jerk^ «<b another jJace' ! *' 

The Major'^8 into coavtdsions, and is recovered 
with difficulty. 

«But I know sufficient of my fi^end Dombey," 
resumes Cousin Peenix id a graver tone, as if he 
had suddenly become a iaddet and wiser man, "ta 
know that' 'he is, in point of facft, what may be em- 
phaticidly called a^- a merchaBt--Hti British merchatti 
— and a — and a man. And dthough I have bed 
resident abroad' for some years (it woidd give a 
great pleasure td receive my iriend Dombey, sd 
everylxxly here, at Baden-Baden, aiKl to have i 
op^rtxmity of making 'eiio^ known to the Gnm 
Dttk^), sttll I know enough, I flatter myself, of id 
kltely and accomplish^ relative^ to know that sh 
possesses every requisite to make^a man ha|^y, ad 
that her marriage with miy friend Dodibey is one d 
inclination and affection on both sides.'' 

' Many smiles and< tods from Mr; Carker. 

••Therefore,'^say8 Cousin Feeoix, «I con^ 
late the family of which I am a member, on 

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D0IIBEY AND SON ^^9 

acquindoD of my fnend Dombej. I coogntobte 
my friend Dombey on his imioo wkh my lordly and 
accoraplishecL relatiTe who y o w tn tt t cfcry f cc m i Mt e 
to make a man hxjffyi aiid I take the hbatj of 
calling on you all, in point of het^ to coDgratokftc 
bodi my frwad Dombey and* my lowly aiki accom* 
plished relatiTe, on the present occaaton.'' 

The sjpeech of Cooaia Feenix ia lecetved with 
great applanae^ and Mr. Dombey ifetomt thanka on 
behalf of hnnself and Mra. Dombey. J; B. sboctly 
afterwaixlB prepoaes Mrs. Skewtoo. The .breaks 
langnifibes when .that is done, the violated hatch* 
ments are arenged, and Edith rises to assome her 
travelling dress. 

All the servants in the itieantimc» had been break- 
fasting below. Champagne has grown too common 
among them to be meritioned, and roast Awls, raised 
pies, and lobster ssdad^ have become mere drags. 
The very tall yoong man.thas>recowred his qwitSy 
and again alkdes to the caficiseman* His comrade's 
eye b^^ to emulate his own* and he, too, stares at 
objects, without taking cogntzaace thereof. There 
18 a general redness in tiie £ices of the ladies; in 
the face of Mrs. Perch particularly, who is joyous 
and beamings and lifted so ht above the cares of 
life, that if she were asked just now to direct a 
wayfaror to Balls Pood, where her own ctoes lodge, 
she wottkl have some difficulty in.iecalling the way. 
Mr. Towtinson has proposed. the happy yaiv; to 
whidi the silver-headed budec.has responded :neady, 
and with emotion ; for he half begins to think he 
ir an old. retainer pf the. family, and that he is bound 
to be affected by these changes. The whole party, 
and especially the ladies, a«e very ffolicsome. Mr. 
Dombey's cook, who geslcraUy U^es the lead ip 

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S30 DOMMir AKD 80iV 

Bocietyi has aaid, k is imposnble to aettie dmn 
after thn» and why doc go, m a party, to the fkjl 
Everybody (Mrs; Perch included^ has agreed to 
diis : even the Native, who is tigerish in hiu diinkf 
and who abrms the ladies (Mrs. Perch pouticiibrifl 
by the reeling of hi* eyes. One of the very xA 
young men has even pn^ioaqd a ball after the ph^, 
and it presents itself to no ane (Mra. Perch m- , 
(^ded) in the light of an impossthtii^. Words 
have arisen between the housemaid and Mr. Tovlb- 
son i she, on the anthority «fan eid saw, asseitii^ 
marriages to be niade in Heaven: he,. affecting to ■■ 
trace the manaftctnre elsewbere ; he, suppoamg that 
she says so, because she thinks of bemg married her 
own self: she, saying, Lord fbrbsd, at any rate, 
diat she should ever marry im* To cafan diese I 
flying taunts, the silver-Jteaded batler rises to ^nfOK 
the health of Mr. Towlinson, whom to knmr is to 
esteem, and to esteem is to wish well settled m life 
with the object of his choice, wherever (fa^ the 
ftilver-headed batler eyes the' housemaid) die mj 
be. Mr. Towiinson returns thanks in a speech 
replete with feeling, of which the peroration turns 
on foreigners, regarding i^hom lie says they nay 
find favour; sometimes with weak and inamstut 
intfelleclB that can be led away by hair, but all he 
hopes, 18, he may never hear of no foreigner never 
boning nothing out of no travcilii^ chariot. The 
eye or Mr. Towltnbon is so severe and so expressive 
here, thfat the housemaid is turning hysterical, vheo 
she and all the rest, roused by the mteiligence dut 
the Bride 18 going away,* hurry up stairs to witness 
her departure. 

The chariot is^at the door $ the Bride is dcsceod- 
ing to the hall, where Mr^ Dombey waits fbr faer. 

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DOMBBV AND SON %%% 

Florence 18 ready on the staircase to depart too; 
md . Miss Nipfjer, who has held a middle state 
>etiv«en the parlour and the kitchen^ is prepared to 
iccompooy her* As Edith a^iears, Florence hastens 
towards her, to bid her iarewell. ' 

Is Editb cold, that she shodd tremUe ? Is there 
any Uufig amamral or nnnHbolesome in the touch of 
Floroice^ that the:beaiitiful*form recedes and cofr* 
tracts, as if it couhl 'not bear hV is there to much 
hiHiy in this getng away, that Edith, with a wai« 
of her hand, sweeps on, and is gone ? 

Mrs. Sldewtetiy overpowered by hep ifeelii^ as a 
mother, sinks on her so&l in the Qmatra attitude, 
when' the flatter of ^e ^diaribt wheels iS lost, aod 
sheds several tears. • The' ^ajer, coming with. the 
rest of the company from tihe tabk, endeavoora to 
comfint her ; tbut «he -will not he com£»rted on^any 
terms, and so the. Major tdlkes his leave. Coosin 
Feenix ukes his ^eave, and Mr. Career takes his 
leave. ..The guests ail go awfty. Cleopatra, left 
alone, feels a Httle. giddy ^ from- her strong emotion, 
and falbableep. 

Giddiness 'prevails belotir 'stairs too. The very 
tall yoimg.man whose excitement came on 90 soon, 
appears to have his bead giued.to the table in the 
pantry, and cannot' be detached from it* A violent 
revulsioo has taken place .<in the spirits of Mrs; 
Perch, wh6 ia low on account of Mr. Perch, and 
tells cook that ^ she fears, he ia^iot' 80 muich attached 
to his home,*a8 he used m be, when they were otdy 
dine in fah)ily« Mr. Towlinson has a; singing in 
his ealrs and a large 'wheel going round and round 
inside his head. The housemaid wishes it wasn't 
wicked to wish that one was dead. 
There vis a. general ddosion likewise, m these 

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sja DOHBEV AKI> SON 

lower r^ioDS^ on the subject of time; everybody 
cooceivmg that it ought to be, at the earfie^ tm 
o'clock at nightt wheieaa it is not yet three in the 
afternoon. A shadowy idea of wickedness oom- 
mitted, haunts every individual in die. party; tad 
each, ohe secretly thinks the other a oooipanioo in 
guilty whom kf wodd be agreeab&e to avoid. No 
BMoi Off. woman' has thdliardihood to iiint at die 
projected . visit to the play. Any one . re^vipg the 
notion of tbe^ball, 'would be scouted as a maliiBurt 
idiot. . f . 

Mrs. Skewton deeps up stairs^ two tioors after- 
waid% and naps 'ace not .yet over in the kitcheo. 
The hatchments in ^e dining-room look xlowii oo 
ccambsy' dirty. ifiate% t^m^i of wine, half*thawed 
ioe, stale chscirfdored .iieel-*tapSy'i<s^rap8 of lobBter, 
dcumsticks ^oC fowls, and pensive jellies gradualij 
nesolving themselves iitto a^ IvikJhmsha gunamy soup. 
The marriage is, by this time, almost as denaded 
of its show and .garnish as the breakfasL Mr. 
Dombey't 'servants moraiisei so much about < it, and 
are so repentant over their early tea^iat home, duit 
by eight o'clock or so,.lhisy settle, dpwn into cod- 
firmed seriousness ; und Mi^ Berch, arny»^ at that 
time frokn*. the 'City, tfresh and jocular, with a white 
waistcoat and a comic song, ready *to ^leod the 
ev^iiing, and prepared ifor ^y amoant of dissipatioQ, 
issan^a^ed to find iiiniself coldly ledeived, and. Mrs. 
Perch but poorly, laiKL to ; have the pleasing ^inty of 
eioorttng that lady home by the next ommbus. 

Night closes in. Florence having rambled tiaroagfa 
the handsome housey from room to room, seeks her 
own chamber, . where the care of Edith has 'sor- 
rounded her witli luxuries and comforts ; aud divect- 
ing herself of her handsome dress, puts itm 'her old 

i 

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DOMBEY AND SON 253 

simple mourning for dear Paul, and siu down to 
read» with Diogenes winking and blinking on the 
ground beside her» Bat Florence cannot read to* 
night. The house seems strai^eand new» and theie 
are loud echoes in k* There is a shadow on her 
heart ;• she knows QOt why or what : but it is heavy. 
Florence /shuts her. book, and gruff X>iogeneB| who 
takea jthat foe a signalf ^s^his paws upon her lap, 
and rubs his ears agamst her caressing hands. But 
Floteace cannpt see Inm ^ainlj^y in a little time, for 
there is a (mist between her eyes and him, and her 
dead brother and dead moth^ shine in it like fingels. 
Walter, too^ poor wandering shipwrecked boy, oh, 
where is he ! 

The Major don't know ; that's for certain ; and 
don't care. The Major, having choked and slum- 
bered, all the afternoon, hav taken a late dinner at 
his club, and now sits over his pint of wine, driving 
a modest young man, with a fresh-coloured face, at 
the next table (who would gMrea haodBomesufi to 
be able to. rise and go away^ but cannot ^ it) to 
the vei:ge of madness, by anecdotes of Bagstock^ «r, 
at Dombey's wedding, and old Joe's devilish gentled 
manly friend, Lord Feenix. While Cousin Feenix^ 
who ou^t to be at Long's, and in bed, finds him« 
self, instead, at a gaming-itable, whei!e.his wilfid- leg^ 
have tak^ him, perhap^^^iii his own despite. 
. Night, hLera giant, fills. the church, firom pave? 
ment.tp rooi^ and h^ds dominion throng the siloit 
hour«. Pale dawn again comes peeping through tbe 
windpws *f and, giving place to day, sees night 
withdraw into die vaults, and follows it, .and drives 
it out^ aod hides among the dead. The timid mice 
again cower close liogether, when the great door 
dashes^ and Mr^ Sowods and Mrs. Miff^ treading 

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»34 DOHBBY AND SOU 

the circle of their daily lives, nnbrokei) as a marriage 
ringy •come in* « Again, the cocked hat and the morti- 
fied bonnet stand in the backgronnd at tiie marriage 
hour ; and again this> man taketh this woman, and 
this woman taketh this man, on the solemn terms : 

*^To have and to hold, from this day fonrntdf 
ioc better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness 
and in healthy to love and to cherish, imtil deadi do 
them part." 

The very words ^at Mr* Carker rides into town 
rq>eataigy with his mouth stretched to the dtmost, 
as b^ picks his dainty way. 



Chapter. XXXII 

TUE WOODEN MIDSHIPMAN GOES TO PIECES 

HONEST Captain Cnttle, a^ the weeks flew 
over him in his fortified i^et;ea^ by no means 
abated any of Ms prudent provisions against siirprise, 
because of the non-appearance of the^enemy. The 
Captain argued that his present se<mrtty was too 
profound and wotiderftii to endure much longer ; he 
knew that when the wind: stood in a fair quarter, 
the weathercock was seldom. nailed there; and he 
was too well acquainted with ihe delermiiied and 
dauntless character* of Mrs. MacStinger, to doubt 
that that heroic woman had devd^ herself to the 
task of his discovery and capture. Trembling 
beneath the weight of these reasons, Captain Cuttle 
lived a very close and retired life; seldom stirring 
abroad until after dark ; venHfring even then only 
into Che oliecuresti streets; never gi^ fbrtk at M 

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\ 



DOMBEY AND SON 2)$ 

on Sundays ; and both within and without the walls 
of hie retreat, avoiding bonnets, as if they were worn 
by raging lions. 

The Captain never dreamed that in the event of 
his being pounced upon by Mrs. MacStinger, in his 
widks, it would be possible to oflPer resistance. He 
felt that it could not be done. He saw himself, b 
his* mind's eye, pot meekly into a liackney-coach, 
and carried off to his old lodgmgs. He foresaw 
that, once immured there, he w^s-a lost man: his 
hat gone; Mrs. MacStinger watchful of him day 
and night ; reproaches heaped upon his head, before 
the in^e family ; hmisdf die guilty object of 'sus^ 
picionand distrust: an ogre m the children's -eyes, 
and in' their ittothrt^'sr a detected traitor. 

A violent persjHTation, and a lowness of spirits^ 
always came over the'Captain a^ this gloomy picture 
{X-esented itself to his imiagination. It generally did 
so previous to his stealing out of doors at night for 
air «nd ei^ercise. Sensible of the risk he ran, the 
Captain look leave of Rob, at those time's, with the 
solemnity which became a man who might never 
return : exhorting him, in the event of his (the 
Captain's-) being lost sight of, for a tittie, to tread in 
the paths of virtue, and ketp the brazen instruments 
well polished. 

But not to throw awky a chance r and to secure 
to himself a means, in case of the worst, of holding 
communication with the exterfaal world ; Captain 
Cuttle soon conceived the happy idea of teaching 
Rob the Grinder- some secret sign&f, by which that 
adherent might make his pfefsence and fidelity known 
to his commander, in the hour of adversity. After 
much cogitation, the Captain dcfcided in favour of 
instructing him to Whistle the marine melody, ^* Oh 

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136 DOMBEV AND SOM 

cheerily^ cheerily ! " and Rob the Grinder attainii^ 
a point as near perfectioa in that accomfdiduneBt » 
a landiman cowd hope to reachy the Captain im- 
pressed these mysterious instmctaons on his mind : 

" N0W9 my hidy stand by 1 If ever I'm took " 

•«Took, Captain!" interposed Roh» wkh his 
round eyes wide open. 

<« Ah! " said Captain Cuttle darkly, <<if em I 
goes away, meaning to come back to auj^per, and 
don't .come within hail again twenty-£Mir hours arter 
my lossy go yon tp Brig Place aid whistle tbat 'ere 
tune near my old moorings*— not as if you was a 
meaning of it, you undfvstvid, hot as if you'd drifted 
there,. promivcuous* If I answer in that tgaoe,yoa 
sheer off, my lad, and. come back fow-and-twenty 
hours arterwards ; if I answer in another tone, do 
you .stand off and on, and .wait till I throw est 
further signal^ Do you .understand them orders, 

<« What am I to stand off and on of, Capcaio?" 
inquired Rob. ** The horae^road ? " 

** H^s a fmart lad. for you! " cried the Captain, 
eyeing him sternly, ^^as don't know his own native 
a^habetj. Go aw^fiy a bit and come back again 
altemate-rd'ye understand that i " 

" Yes, Captain," said Rob. 

« Very good, my lad, then," said the Captain, 
relenting. "Doit!" 

That he might do it the better. Obtain Cuttk 
sometimes . condescended of s^n evening,, after the 
shpp was shut, to rehearse this ftpene: retiring into 
the parlour for the purpose, jis into the lodgings of 
a supposititious JMacStinger, and, carefully obcerving 
the behaviour |of his. ally, from the hole of espial he 
had cut ,in the wall.. Rob the GrMef^ discharged 

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DOMBBV AND SON 2%f 

^rjaae]£ of his dnty with so much es^actiiess and 

ladginent, when diras put to the proof, that the 

C^aptain presented him, at di^rers times, with seven 

siixpences^ in token of satisfaction; and gradualiy 

felt stealiaig over his spirit the resignation of a man 

ixrlio had made provision lor the worst, and taken 

e^ery reasonable precaution against an unrelenting fate. 

Nevertheless, the Captaift did not tempt ill^foitttne, 

by being a whit more ventoresome^ than -before; 

rPfaough he oonsidored it a pbiot of gotxi breeding 

in himself as a gtoeral friend of the fanttiy, to 

a.ttend Mr. Dombey's wedding (of which he had 

beard h<im Mr. Perch), aad to show that gentleman 

SL pleasant and apfMroving countenance frdm the 

gallery, he had repaired to the church in a hackney*- 

cabriolet widi both windows up ; and might have 

sGFttpled even to make tbat venture, in his* dread of 

Mrs. MacStinger, but that the lady's attendance on 

the ministry of the Revereiid Meichisedech rendered 

it peculiarly unUkely that she would be found in 

communion with the Estabhshment. 

The Captain got safe home again, and fell into 
the- ordinary routine of his new lif^, without ai* 
countering any inore . direct alarm from the enemy, 
than was st^^gested to him by the dsaily bonnets m 
the street* But other sttfa^cts began -to lie heavy 
on the Captain's mind Walter^s ship was sdll 
unheard of. No news came of old Sol' Oills. 
Fioreace did not even know of the old man's 
disappearance^ and Captain Cntde had not the heart 
to teu her.* Indeed > tho'Cs^jtain^ as iii& own hopes 
of thei.generdus, handspmcv galknt-hearted youdi, 
whomiie.hadi)loved, abcording to his rough «(ianner, 
from a child, began to fade, and faded, more* and 
more from day to. day, shrank with- instinctive; pain 

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t$% DOMBBY AND SON 

from the thought o£ exchongiiig a -ward with 
FJoreoce. If he had had good news to carry to her, 
the honest Captain would have braved the newly 
decorated house, and splendid furniture — though 
these, connected with the lady he had seen at 
churchy were awful to hnnr— and made his way into 
her presence. With a dark horizon gathering 
around their common hopes, however, that darkened 
every hour, the Captain almost felt as if he were 
a new misfortune md affliction to her ; and waa 
scarcely less afraid of a visit from Florence, than 
from Mrs. MacStipger henelf. 

It was a chill dark autumn evening, and Captmn 
Cttttlehad ordered a fire to bekindled in the littleback* 
^lour, now more than ever like the cabin of a ship. 
The rain fell fast, and the wind blew hard; and 
straying out on the housetop by that stormy bedroom 
of his old friend, to take an observation of the weather, 
the Captain's heart died wkhin him," when he saw 
how wUd and dttsolateit was. Not that he associ- 
ated the weather of that time with poor 'Walter's 
destiny, or doubted that if Providence had doomed 
him to be lost and shipwrecked^ it was over, long 
ago ; but that beneath an outwsuid influence, quite 
distinct from the subject^inatter of his thoughts, the 
Captain's spirits sank, and his impes turned pale, as 
those of wiser men; had often done before him, and 
will often do again. 

Captain Cuttle, adchressing his- fiice to the sharp 
wind and slanting rbin, looked up at the heavy ;scud 
that was flying hsSi oiner the wildemeis of housetops, 
and looked for «>niething' cheery therr in vain. 
The prospect near at hand was no betier. In 
'sundfy>tea-rche8ts> and .other rough boxes at his £eet, 
thej pigeons of Rob the Grinder werexooing like so 

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QOMBBY AND SOH as^ 

maQy dismal breezes getting up. A crazy weather* 
cock of a oiidshipniaiiy with a telescope at his eye, 
once visible from the street, but long bricked ont^ 
creaked and complained upon his msty pivot as the 
shrill blast spun him round and rounds and sported 
with him cruelly. Upon the Giptain's coarse blue 
vest the cold rain-drops started like steel beads 9 
and he could hardly. maintain himself aslant against 
the sti£r nor'-wester that came pressing against him, 
importunate to topple him over the parapet, and 
throw him on the payement below. If there were 
any Hope alive that evening, the Captain thought, 
as he held his hat on, it certainly kept house, and 
wasn't out^qf doors.; so the Captain, shaking his 
head in a despondent manner, went in to look for it. 

Captain Cuttle descended slowly to the little back- 
parlour, and, seated in his accustomed chair, looked 
for it in the fire ; but it was not there, though, the 
fire was bright. He took out his tobacco-hrac and 
pipe, and composing himself to smoke, looked for it 
ia the red glow ifrom the bowl, and in the wreaths 
of vapour that .curled upward from his lips; but 
there was .not so much as an atom of the rust of 
Hope'sv anchor in either. He tned a glass of grog ; 
but melancholy truth was at the bottom of that weli, 
and he couldn't finish it« . He made a turn or two 
in th^.shi^, and liK^ied.for Hope among the instni^ 
ments ; but they i>batitiately worked put reckonings 
for the mi8ang.,ship, in ^wte of. any op^sition he 
could offers that ended at the bottom of the lone 
sea. . '. 

Th^ wind still i-ushing, and the rain still pattering, 
agajpat the closed shutters, the (Captain brought to 
before the Wooden Midshipman upon the counter, 
and thought, as he diied the litde officer's uniform 



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a4o DOMBBY AND SON 

with hit tieeve, how naay yean the Midifatpna 
had wttsOf during which few changes — hardly anf— 
had transpired among his ship's company ; how the 
ohanges had come afi together, one day, as it mi^ 
be ; and of what a sweeping kind they were. Here 
waa the little society of the back-park>ttr broken i^ 
and scattered kr and wide. Here was no aodieBce 
for Lo^dj Peg, eren if there-had been anybody to 
sing it, which there was noit ; for the Captain was 
as moraUy certain that nobody but he could eicecote 
that ballad, as he was that he had not tlie ^»nt, 
mider existing circumstances, to attempt it. There 
was no bright face 4>f ^ Wal'r " in the hoase; — here 
the Captain transferred his sleeve for a moment from 
the Midshipman's uniform to his own cheek ; — the 
familiar wig and buttons of Sol Gills were a vision 
of the past ; Richard Whdtdngtoa was knocked oo 
the head ; and every plan and project, in coimexioo 
with the Midshipman, lay drifting, without mast or 
rudder, osi the waste of waters. 

As the Captain, with a dejected face, stood re- 
volving these thoughts, and pbHshing the Midship- 
man, partly in the tenderness of old ac^mintance, 
and partly in the absence of his mind, a knockiag 
at the shop*door communicated a frightfiil start to 
the frame of Rob the Grindct, seated on the counter, 
whose large- eyes had been = intently > fixed on the 
Captain's face^ and who had heen debating .within 
himself €m the five hun^edth time, whether the 
Captain could have done a< murdeF, that he had such 
an evil conscience, and was always running away. 

««. What's that ! '' said Captdin Cuttlef, softly. 

« Somebody's knuckles, Captain^'' ansWred Rob 
the Grinder. . ■ 

• The Captain, with m abanhed' and gmity air, 



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DOMBEir ANDi SON 241 

immediately sneaked on tiptoe to the little parkrar 
and locked hinuelf iil. Rob, opening tbe door, 
would bare parleyed with the viaitor on the threshold 
if the vintor had come in female guise ; bat the 
figm-e being of the male sex, and Rob's orders only 
applying to women, Rob held the door open and 
allowed it to enter : which it did very quickly, g^ad 
to get out of the driving rain. 

^ A Job for Burgess and:Co. at any rate," said 
the visitcM', looking over his shoulder conqnssionately 
at hia own legs, which* were very wet smd covered 
with spbshcs. ** Oh, hownie^o, Mr. Gills ^ " 

The sidutation was addressed to the Captain, now 
emer^g from the back-parlour with a most trans- 
parent and utterly futile affectation of coming oat by 
accident. 

*^ Thankee,'' the gentleman went on to say in the 
same iM-eath ; « I'm very well mdeed, mysdf, I'm 
much obliged to- you. My name is Toots, — Mister 
Toots." . 

The Captain remeihbered to have seen this young 
gendeman at the wedding, and made him a bow; 
Mr. Toots replied wkk a chuckle; and being 
embarrassed^ as he generally was, breadiei hard, 
shook hands. !#ith the Capt^ for a long time, and 
then falling- on Rob the Grinder, in the absence of 
any other -ifesource^ shook hands with him. in a most 
afiectionate aad cordial manner. 

^I say ; I should like to speak a word to yon, 
Mr. Gills, if you please," said Toots at lei^, 
with surprismg presence of mind. . ^ I say ! Miss 
D. O. M» you know ! " . 

The Captain, with responsive-gravity and mystery, 
immediately waved his hook towards the little parlour, 
whither Mr*. Toota foUowed him. 1 • 

II. R 

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141 DOMBBY AND SON 

<* Oh ! i beg yoor pardon though/' said Mt 
Toots, looking up in die C^)tainU face as he at 
down in a chair by the fire, which the Captain 
placed for him ; ** yoa don't happen to kson the 



Chicken at all ; do you, Mr. Gills? 

•« The Chicken ?" said the Captain. 

« The G^une Chicken/' said Mr. Toots. 

The Captain shaking his head, Mr. Toots cs- 
]Jained that the man alluded to was the celebratsi 
paUic chanurter who had covered himself and hit 
countr y with glory in his contest with the Nobby 
Shropshire One ; but this piece of informattoo M 
not amiear to enlighten the Captain rery much. 

<< Because he'» outside : that's all/' said Mr. 
Toots« ^ But it's of no consequence ; he won't 
get very wet, perhaps." 

^ I can pass the word for him in a moment," 
said the Capuin. 

** Well, tf you wauldhvufe the goodness to let him 
sit in the shop with your young man," chackled 
Mr. Toots, ** I should be glad ; because, yon knov, 
he's easily offended, and the damp's rather bad for 
his sunrina. /'U call him in^ Mr. GiUs." 
. With that, Mr. Toots repairing to the shop-door, 
sem a peculiar whistle into the night, which p 
duced a stoical gendeman in a shaggy white great* 
coat and a flat-lxrimmed hat, with very short hair, a 
broken nose, and a considerable tract of bore and 
sterile country behind each ear. 

« Sit down> Chicken/' said .Mr. Toots. 

The compliant Chicken spat out some small pieces 
of straw on which he was regaling himself, {IUKitoo| 
in a fresh supply from a reserve he carried in hii 
hand;. - ' i 

** There an't no drain ^ nothings short haody, '^ 



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DOMBEY AND SON t43 

there ? '' aaad the Chicken, generally. ^ This here 
fdnicing night is hard lines to a man as Utcs on his 
condition. 

Czftsaa Cuttie proffered a glass of nmiy which 
the Chicken, throwing back his head, emptied into 
himself, as into a cask, after proposing the brief 
sentiment, ** Towards os ! '' Mr. Toote and the 
Captain retoming then to the parloor, and taking 
their seats before the fire, Mr. Toots began : 

"Mr. Gills " 

** Awast ! '' said the Captain. «* My name's 
CuttJc." 

Mr. Toots looked greatly disconcerted, while 
the Captain proceeded gravely. 

"Cap'en Cattle is my name, and England is my 
nation, this here is my dwelling-place, and Uessed 
be creation— ^ob»'' said the Captain, as an index to 
his authority. 

<« Oh ! I conkb't see Mr. Gills, coftld I ? '' said 
Mr. Toots ; «* because " 

*• If you codd see S«i Gills, jKmag genTm'n," 
said the Captain, impressively, and laying his heavy 
hand on Nu>. Toots's knee, ** did Sol, mind you — 
with yonr own eyes — a^ you Mt there — you'd be 
welcomer to me, than a wind astam, to a ship be- 
calmed; But you can't see Sol Gills. And why 
can't you see Sol Gills? " said the Captain, apprised 
by the &ce of Mr. Toots that he was making a 
profoimd impression on that gentleman's mind. 
<^ Because he^s inwisible." 

Mr. 'Toots in his>4igitatioa was going to reply that 
it was of no consequence at all. -Bat he corrected 
himself, and said, ** Lor bless me ! " 

^ That there man^" said the Captain, << has left 
me in charge here by a piece of writing, but though 

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144 DOMBBY AND< SON 

he was almost as good as my sworn brotiier,Ikinf 
ao more where Ws gooe, or why he's gone ; if u 
be to seek his nevy, or if so be along of beiog tA 
quite settled in hb mind ; than yon do. One moro- 
ing at daybreak^ he went over the side," said tk 
Cafitain, ** without- a spkish, without a lipple. I 
ha^e looked for that man hig^ and low, and sew 
sec eyes, aoc ean, nor nothing else, upcm faim^froiB 
that hour/' 

** But, good gracious. Miss Dombey doQ^ koow 
" Mr* Toou began. 

~Why, I ask you, as a feeling heart," said the 
Captain, dropping his voice, **whj ^odd she 
know ? why shoukl she be made to biQW, until f^ 
time as there wam't any help for it ? She took to 
old Sol Grills, did thafcsweet creetur, with a kind* 
neas, with a afiainHty, with a — what's the goodof 
saying so ? you know her/' 

«' I shoukl hope so," chudiled Mr. Toots, vith 
a conscious blush that suffused his whole coaoteoaDce. 

<* And you come herefrom her?" said the Captain. 

<<I should think ao," chuckkd Mr. Toots. 

^ Then all I need observe, is," s^d the Captain, 
*^that you know a angel, and -are chartered ^> 
angeL" 

Mr. Toots instantly seized the CaptaiD^s haodf 
and recpiested die fiivour of his friendship. 

<* Upon my word and honour," said Mr. TootSi 
earnestly, '*! shodd.be very much obliged to you 
if you'd improve my acquaintance. > I should like 
to know you, Captain, very much* I really am in 
want of a irieod, I am. Little Dombey was mj 
friend at old Bliikiber's, and wo«ld have be^m QOVt 
if he'd have lived. The Chicken*" said Mr. Tooti, 
in a fbrlom whisper, << is v^ry well— ^uhmiable inhis 

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DOHBEY AHD SON 145 

way — the sharpest man perhaps in the world; there's 
not a move he isn't up to, everybody says so— 4Mit I 
don't know-f^he's not everything. So she is an 
sagdf Captain* If there is an angel anywhere, it's 
Miss -Dcunbey. That's what I've' always said* 
Really though, you know," said Mr. Toots, «* I 
ahoald be<very.hiuch obliged to yon if yon'd cultivate 
my acqusuntance;'' 

Captain Cuttle received this proposal ' in a polite 
manner^ but still without! committing himself to its 
acceptance ; merely observing, '^ Ay, ay, my lad. 
We shall see, we shall' see;" and ' reminding Mr. 
Toots of his immediate mission, by inquiring to what 
he was mdebted for the hononr of that visit. 

« Why the &ctis,V replied Mn. Toots, «that it's 
the young woman I come- from. Not Miss Dombey 
— Susan you know.'' . 

The Captain nodded his head once, with a grave 
exiM'esnon of &ce, indicative of his regarding that 
young woman with serious respect. 

«< And I'll tdl you how it happens^" said Mr. 
Toots. . ** Yott know,- 1 go and call sometimes, on 
Miss Dombey. I don't go there on purpose, you 
know, but I happen to be in the neighbourhood very 
often ; and when Lfind myself there, why — ^why I 
calk" 

"Naturally," observed the- CaptaiiL . 

"Yes," said Mr. Toots. "Icalled this afternoon. 
Upon my word and honour, I dcm'tdiink it'^possible 
to form an idea of the angel Miss Dombey was this 
afternoon." 

Th^ Captain answered with a jsrk of his head, 
implying that it 'might not be easy to some ^ople, 
but was quite so, to him. • •■' 

<< As I was coming out,(" said ^p. Toots, ** tht 

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m6 dombet and son 

youQg womaiit in the moet unexpected manner, took 
me into the pantry." 

The Captain seemed, for the moment, to object 
to tfaia proceedh&g ; and leaning back ni his dmr, 
looked at Mr. Tooti with a distmstfiil, if not 
threatening ▼itage. 

<« Whtfe she brought out," said &<r. Toots, ""tins 
newspaper. She told me that she had kept k from 
Miss Dombey all day, on account of something that 
was in it, about somebody that she and Dombey used 
to know ; and then she read the passage to me. 
Very well. Then she said — watt a minute $ what 
was it, she said though ? " 

Mr. Toots, endeaTOuring to conoeBtrate his mental 
powers on this cpiestite, unintentionally fixed the 
Captain^ eye^ and was sor much discompoaed by its 
stem expression, that his difficulty in resuming tbe 
thread ot hiasubject was enhanced to a painfid extoit 

^ Oh I " said Mr. Toots after long conatderatioo. 
'< Oh, ah ! Yes ! She said ^at she hoped there 
was a bare possibility that« it mightn't be true ; and 
that as she couldn't Tery well come out herself, with- 
out surprish^ Miss Dombey^ would I go down to 
Mr. Solomon Gills the instrument-maker's in this 
street, who was the party's uncle, waA ask whetlier 
he believed it was true, or had heard anything else 
in the City. She said, if he couldn't speak to roe, 
no doubt Captahi Cuttle could. By the bye ! " said 
Mr. Toots, as the discovery flashed upon him, <<yoQ, 
you know 1 " 

The Captam glanced at the newspaper in Mr. 
Toots's hand, and breathed short and faiffriedly. 

« Well," pursued Mr. Toots, «*lhe reason why 
I'm rather late is, because I went upas far aa Finch- 
ley first, to get some UQcommonly fine duckweed 

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IMlIBSy AND SON S47 

that grows there, for Mias Dombey's bircL But I 
came on here, directly afterwards. You\e teea the 
paper, I suppose?" 

The Captaiiiy who had become caotioiis of neading 
the news, lest he should iiiid himself advfftised at 
fall length by Mrs« MacStinger, shook his head. 

«< Sl^ I read the pasaAge to yoo ? " inquired Mr. 
Toots. 

The Captain making a sign in the affinaatire, Mr* 
Toots read as follows from the Shipping InteUigence: 

'^ < Southampton. The barque Defiance, Henry 
James, commander, arrived in this port to-day, with 
a cargo of sugar, coffee, and rum, repods that being 
becalmed on the sixth day of her, passage home from 
Jamaica, in' — in auch and such a latitude, you know," 
said Mr. Toots, after making a feeble dash at the 
figures, and tumbling over than. 

«< Ay i " cried the Captain, striking his cleiiched 
hand on the table. ** HeuTe ahead, my lad 1 " 

<< — latttade," repeated Mr. Toots, with a startled 
glance at the Captaii^ ** and longitude so-and«sOf— 
* the look*out obsecTed, half an hour befinre sunset, 
some fragments of a wreck, drifting 'at about the <lis« 
tance of a mile. The weather being clear, and the 
bar<|iie making no way, a boat was hoisted out^ with 
orders to inspect the same, whenthey were found to 
constA of sundry large qiars, and aipart of the main 
rigging of an English brig, of about five hundred 
tons burden^ together with a portion of the stern on 
which the words and letters ** Sob and H— «^ — " were 
yet jdaioly l^iUe. No Testige of. any dead body 
was to be seen upon the floating fragments. Log of 
the Defiance iitates, that a breeze springing up 'in the 
night, :the wreck waa^seen no more. There can be 
no doubt that all surnuscs as to the fate of the niiss« 

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i4t DOM BEV AND SON 

■ig mtdy llie Sob and Heir, port of Loodoii, bound 
ftr Barbados are nov act at rest for csf«r ; that die 
broke up in the last hurricane ; and that every tool 
m board peruhed* 

Captain Cottle^ hke all mankind, fitde knew how 
nnch hope had rarmed within him under dtscoarage- 
nient» vntil he fek its deadi-shock* Daring the 
reading of the paragraph, and fw a minute or two 
afterward^ he sat with his gaze fixed on the modest 
Mr» Toots, like a man entranced ; then, suddenly 
rising, and puttmg on his glazed hat, which, in hu 
visttor's honour, he had laid upon the table, the 
Captain tumod his back, and bent his head down on 
the little chimney-piece. 

<* Oh, upon my word and honour," cried Mr. 
Toots, whose lender heart was moved by the Cap* 
tain's unexpected distress, ^'this is a most wretched 
sort of a£^ this worid is! Somebody's always 
dying, or going and doing something uncomfortable 
in it* I'm sure I never idionkl have looked fwv^ard 
so much, to comii^ into my prc^ierty, if I had known 
this* I never saw such a world. It's a great deal 
woi»e than Blimber^s." 

Captain Cuttle, without altering his position, dgned 
to Mr. Toots not tommd him; and presently tamed 
round, with his glazed hat thrust bade upon his ears, 
and his hand con^iosing and snioodiing his brown 
fecc. . I 

<« Wal'r, my dear kd," said the Captain, << fare- 
well ! Wal^r my ckild^ my boy^ and man, I loved 
you ! He wam't my flesii and blood," said the 
Captain, looking at the:fire^— << I an't got nobe-^-^wt 
something of what a father feels when hr loses a son, 
I feel in losing WalV. For why i " said the Cap- 
tain. ** Because it an't one loss, but a round dozen* 



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DOMBE¥ ANB SON 349 

Whcte's that there young schoolboy with the rosy 
£ice and cnrly hair, that used to be as merry in this 
here parlour, come ronnd every week, as a piece of 
music ? Gone down with Wal'r. Where's that 
there fifesh kd, that nothing coold tire aor . pot out, 
and that sparkled up and hkished so^ when we jokfld 
him about Heart's Delight, that he was beautiful to 
look at ? Gone down with Wal'r. Where's that 
there man's qurit,all afire, that wouldn't see the old 
man hove down for a minute^ and cared nothing for 
itself? ' Gone down with Wal'r. It an't one 
Wal'r. There vas a dozen Wal'rs that I know'd 
and loved, all holding round his neck when he went 
down, and they're a holdmg round mine now ! " 

Mr. Tooto sat silent : folding and refolding the 
newspaper as small as possible upon his knee. 

** And Sol Gdlls," said the Captain,, gazmg at the 
firey *^ poor neryless old Sol, whire KCeiyou got to I 
You was left in charge of me ; hia last .words was, 
* Take care of my wicle.' What came ovei' yov, 
Sol, when you went and gave the go-by to Ned 
Cuttle I and what am I to put in my accounts that 
he's a looking down upon, respecting you ! - Sol 
Gills, Sol Gills!" said the Captain, shaking his 
head slowly, ** catch sight of that there newspaper, 
away from home, with no one as know'd Wal r by^ 
to say a word ; and broadside to yon broach^ aad 
down you pitch, head foremost.! " 

Drawing a heavy sigh, the Captain turned to Mr, 
Toots, and roused hinnelf to a sustained canscsious- 
neaa of that gentleman's presence. 

<« My lad," said the Captain, << you must tell the 
yonng woman honesdy that this here fatal news* is 
too correcti They don't romance, you see, on such 
p'inta. It's entiBf ed 00 the ship's log, and that's the 

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s$o DOM BBY AMD SON 



; book M a nun caa vrite. To-morrov Bun- 
ing»'' said the Captain, <<ril step out and make 
kiqQinei ; but they'll lead to no good. They can't 
dai it. If you'll gi^e roe a look-in in the fbrenooD, 
yon shall know what I ha?e heerd; but tell theyooog 
woman from Cap'en Cuttle, diat it's over. Over i " 
And the Captain, hooking off his gbzed hat, pulled 
his handkerehief oot of the crown, wiped his grizzled 
head despairingly, and tossed the handkerchief in 
again with the indifference of deep dejection. 

<' Oh ! I assure you," said Mr. Toots, << really 
I am dread^y sorry. Upon my word I am, thoogli 
I wasn't acquainted with die party. Do you think 
Miss Dombey will be very much aiFected, Captais 
GiU»— I mean Mr. Cottle ? " 

**Whjf Loid lore you," returned the Captain, 
with something of compassion for Mr. Toots's inno- 
cence. ** When she warn't no h^her than that, they 
were as fond of one another as two young doves.'' 

«' Were they though ? " sskI Mr. Toots, widi a 
considerably loigthened £ice. 

''They were made for one another," said the 
Captain, mournfully ; '< but what signifies that now? " 

** Upon my word and honour," cried Mr. Toots, 
blurds^ out his words tlurough a smgular combinatton 
of awkward chuckles and emoticm, <' I'm even more 
sorry than I was before. You know. Captain Gills, 
I — I positively adore Miso Dombey ; — ^I — ^I an 
perfectly sore with loving her ; " die burst vith 
which diis confession forced itself oat of the nnhapj^ 
Mr. Toots, bespoke the vehemence of his fediogs; 
'< but what would be the good of my regarding her in 
this manner, if I wasn't truly son'y for her feelmg 
pain, whatever was the cause of it i Mme an't a 
selfish affection, you know," said Ms. Toou, in the 

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DOMBEY AND «0N %$! 

Goafidence engendefed by hiB haYiog beco a witsesf 
o^die Captain's tenderness. «< It's the sort of thing 
with mCf Captain Gills, that if I could be run over 
— or— or trampled ii^poii— or — or thrown off a very 
highr [Jace-?-or anything of that sort<— for Miss 
Dombey's sake, it would be the most delightful thing 
that could happen to me." 

All this, Mr. Toots said in a suppressed Toice, to 
prevent its reaching the jealous ears of the Chicken, 
who objected to the softer emotions ; which effort 
of restraint, coujJed with the intensity of his feelings, 
made him red to the tips of his ears, and caused him 
to present such an affecting spectacle of disinterested 
love to the eyes of Captain Cuttle, that the good 
Captain patted him consolii^ly oa the back, and bade 
him cheer up. 

** Thankee, Captain Gills," said Mr. Toots, ** it's 
kind of you, in the .midst of your own troubles, to 
say so. Fm very mneh oUiged to you. As I said 
bdbre^ I really want a friend, and should be glad to 
have your acquaintance. Although I am very well 
off," said Mr. Toots wkh energy, <* you can't think 
what a miserable beast I am. The hollow crowd, 
you know, when they see me with the Chicken, and 
characters of distinction like that, suppose me to be 
haippj ; but I'm wretched. I suffer for Miss Dom- 
bey. Captain Gills. I can't get: through my meals ; 
I have no pleasure in my tailor ; I often. cry when 
I'm alone. I assure you it'll be a satisfaction to me to 
come back to-morxow, or to come back fifty times." 

Mr. Toots, with these words, shook the Captain's 
hand ; and disguising such traces of his agitation as 
could be disguised on so short a notice, before the 
Chicken's penetratiog glance, rejoined that emment 
gentleman in the shop. The Chicken, who was apt 

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S5a DOMBEV AND SON 

to be jealonr<»f lii» Mccndancy, eyed Captain Cnfetle 
with anything tmt fkwaar as he took leave of Mt* 
Toots ; hot foUowed his patron withoot being odKr* 
wise demonstrative of his d 1-wyi : leaving the Captain 
oppressed with sorrow ; and Rob the Grmder-eievatjed 
with joy, on account of havikig had the honour of 
staring for nearly half an hour, at the conqueror of 
the Nobby Shfo^ire One. 

Long after Rob was hat asleep- in his bed nnder 
the counter^ the Captain sat lookmg at the fire; and 
long afto" diere was no-fire to look. at,, the Captain 
sat gazmg on 'the rosty bars with nnavailing thoughts 
of Walter and cUd Sol crowding liirOagh his nund. 
Retirement to the stormy chamber at 'the top of the 
house brought no rest with it ; and the Captain rose 
up in the mornings sorrowfol and unrefireshed. 

As soon- as the City office* were opaij the Captain 
issued forth to the <:ounting-house of Dcnnbey and 
Son. But there was no opeirag of the Midshipman's 
windows that mommg. Rob the-Grindei', by the 
Captain's <mler8» left the shutters closed, and the 
house was as a house of death. ^ 

It chanced that Mr. Carker was enterii^ the office, 
as Captain Cottle *arrived at the door. Recaving 
die Manager's benison gravely and silently^ Captain 
Cuttle made bold to accompany him to kis own room. 

** WeH, Captain Cuttle," said Mr. Carker, taking 
up his usual position b<^fore the firejdaoe, and keeping 
on his hat, ** this is a bad business.'' 

<<Yott have received the news as was in print 
yesterday, sir ? " said the. Captain. ' . . 

" Yes," said Mr. Carker, " we have received it ! 
It was accurately stated. The uxiderwriters ^ufier a 
considerable loss; We are very sorry. . N&hdp! 
Such is life!" . 

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DOMBEY AND. SON 153 

Mr» Carker pared hk nails delicately with a pen- 
knife, aad smiled at the Capuin, who was standing 
by .the door looking at him. 

*< I excessively regret poor Gay," said Carkefi 
** and the crew* I understand there were some c^ 
our usery best me^ among 'em. It. always hapftens 
so. Many men with faknilies too. A comfort to 
reflect that poor Gay had no family. Captain Cuttle! " 

The Captain stood rubbing his chin, and looking 
at the Manager.' The Manager glanced at the 
unopened letters lying on his desk^ and took up the 
newspaper. 

<< Is there anything> I- can do for you, Captain 
Cuttle ? " he. asked, looking off it, «with a. smiling 
and expressive glance at the door. 

*^ 1 wish you could set my mind at rest, sir, on 
something fit's uneasy about," returned the Captain. 

f* Ay ! " exclaimed the Manager, " what's diat ? 
Come, Captain Cuttle, I must trouble you to be 
qwck, if yott please. I am much engaged." 

** Look'ee here, sir," said the Captain, advancing 
a 8(bep. "Afore my friend Wal'r went en this, hece 
disastrous vpyage— ? — " 

^< Come^ ^ome. Captain Cuttle," interposed the 
sHOttling Manager, "don't talk about disastrous voy* 
ages in that way^ We have nothing to do with 
disastrous voyages here^i my- good fellow. You must 
Have begun very early, on your day's 1 allowance. 
Captain, if you don't remember that there are hazards 
in all voyages whether by sea or land. You ar^ not 
made uneasy by the- supposition that young what's- 
his-name was lost, in bad weaither that was got up 
against him in these offices— are you ? Fie, Captain ! 
Sleep, and, soda^-water, are the best cures for such 
uneMaess9s thau" 

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154 DOMBBY AND SON 

" My lad," petunied the Captain, slowly — **jm 
are a'most a lad to me, and so I doti't ask your 
pardon for that slip of a word, — if joa find any 

feasnre in this here sport, you an't ^e gentleman 
took yoa for, and if yoa an't the gentleman I 
took you for, may be my mind has call to be uneasy. 
Now this is what it is, Mr. Carker.-— Afore that 
poor lad went away, according to orders, he told 
me that he wam't a going away for his own good, 
or for jxt>motion, he knowM. It was my belief 
that be was wrong, and I told htm so, and I come 
here, your head governor being absent, to ask a 
que8ti<Mi or two of you in a civil way, for my own 
satisfaction. Them questions you answered — ^free. 
Now it'll ease my mind to know, when all is over, 
as it is, and when what can't be cured must be 
endoored — ^for which, as a scholar^ you'll overhaul 
the book it's in, and thereof make a note — ^to know 
once more, in a word, that I warn't mistaken ; that 
I warn't back'ard in nw duty when I didn't tell 
the old man what Wal'r told me; and that the 
wind was tr^y in his sail, when he highsted of it 
for Barbados Harbour. Mr. Carker," said the 
Captain, in the goodness of his nature^ ** when I was 
here last, we was very pleasant together. If I ain't 
been altogether so pleasant myself this morning, 
on account of this poor lad, aiKi if I have chafed 
again any observation of yours that I might have 
fended off, my name is Ed'ard Cuttle, and I ask yoor 
pardon." 

** Captain Cuttle," revomed the Manager, with all 
possible poKteiless, ^ I must ask you to do me a 
favour." 

«* AM what is it, wr ? " inquired the Captain. 

" To have the goodness to walk off, if you please," 

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DOMBEY AND SON s55 

^ joined the Manager, stretchmg forth his arm, **aiid 
> carry your jargon somewhere else/' 

Gvery koob in the Captain's face tiirned white 
rith astonishment and indignation ; eyen the red rim 
o his forehead faded, like a rambow among the 
;atheiuig clouds. 

«*I tell you what. Captain Cuttle," said the 
Sdanager, shaking his forefinger at him, and showing 
lim all his teeth, but still amiably smiling, ** I was 
nuch too lenient with you when you came here 
3efbre. You belong to an artfiil and audacious set 
dF people* In my desire to save young what's-his- 
name from being kicked out of this place, neck and 
crop, my good Captain, I tolerated you; but for 
once, and ooly once. Now, go, my friend ! '' 

The Captain was absolutely rooted to the ground, 
and speechless. 

** Go," said the good-humoured Manager, gather- 
ing up his skirts, and standing astride upon the 
hearth-'rug, ** like a sensible fellow, and let us have 
no turning out, or any such violent measures. If 
Mr. Dorobey were here, Captain, you might be 
obliged to leave in a more ignominious manner, 
possibly. I merely say. Go ! " 

The Captain, laying his ponderous hand upon his 
chest, to assist himself in fetching a deep Inreath, 
looked at Mr. Carker firom head to foot, and looked 
round the litde room, as if he did not clearly under«- 
stand where he was, or in what company. 

«« Yon are deep. Captain Cutde," pursued Carker, 
with the easy and vivacious frankness of a man of the 
world who knew the world too well to be ruffled by 
any discovery of misdoing, when it did not iromedi^ 
ately concern himself; ** but you are not quite out of 
soundings, either--**neither you aor your absent friend, 

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256 DOMBEY AND SON 

Captain* What have yott done with your absent 
friend, hey ? " 

Again the Captain kid his hand upoo his chest 
After drawing another deep breath, he conjured 
himself to ** stand by ! " But in a whisper. 

** You hatch nice little plots, and hold nioe litde 
councils, and make nice Httle appointments, and receive 
nice little visitors, too^ Captain, hey? '* said Carker, 
bending his brows upon him, without showing his 
teeth any the less : ^but it's a bold measure to come 
here afterwards. Not like your discretion! You 
conspirators and hiders, and runner&-away, ahould 
know better than that. Will you oblige me by 
going?"" 

** My lad," gasped the Captain, in a choked and 
trembling voice, and with a curious action going on 
in the ponderous fist; "there's a many words I could 
wish to say to you, but I don't rightly know where 
they f re stowed just lat present. My yous^ friend, 
Wal'r, was drowadedonly last nigfat,- according to 
my reckoning, and it puts me out, you see. * But you 
and me will come alongside o' one another again, my 
lad/' said the Captain, holding up his shook, "if we 
live." 

" It wili be anything but shrewd in you, my good 
fellow, if we do^" returned the Manager, with the 
same frankness ; ** for you may rely, I give you fur 
warning,' upon my detecting and exposing you.' I 
don't pretend to be a more moral man than my 
neighbours, my good Captain ;> but, the confidence (» 
this house, or^of any member of this house, is not to 
be abused and undermined while I have eyes and 
earft. Good day," isaid Mr* Carker^ nodding his 
head* ' . . ... 

Captain Cuttle^. .Jbaking..iat him .steadily (Mr. 

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BdHBEr AND Smi t$f 

Carker looked full as steadily ae the Cuptai^), went 
out of the of^ce and left him standing astride before 
the iirey'as calm and pleasant atr' if there were 'no 
more spots upon hk soul' than on his pore Whitcf lin^ 
and his smooth sleek skin. 

The Captain glanced, in passing through the outer 
counting-house, at ^e desk where he 'knew poor 
Walter liad been used to sit; now occupied by 
another young boy, with a ^ce ahnost as fresh and 
hq>eful as his on die day when th«y tapped the fimous 
last bottle biit oi^e of the old Mjideira, in the little 
back*parlour. The fssociatibn of ideas, thus awak- 
ened, did the Captain k great desd of good : iv soft- 
ened him in the very hei^t of his atigery*and bcought 
the tears into his ei^esi • « • , ' „. 

Arrived at^the Woodto Midshiipman^s again, afili 
sitting downm ateemer of the dittk ^lop, the Captai»*s 
indignation, strong a6= tt was, could make no head 
against bis grief. • Passbfr seemed ncK xmly t6 do 
wrong and- violence to the mcfmoiry c9 the dea4, but 
to be iniected by death, and' to droop and 'decline 
beside it. All the ' Hying knaves atjNJl: Hars in the 
worlds were ndthing to the<hone8ty ^bd mith of 'one 
dead friend. ... 

The only thing : the hoiae^ Captain ' made Out 
clearly, in this stale of mindv besides the' lo^s- «if 
Waller was, that with' him almost > the whole world 
of Captam* Cutde t had' been drowtled: 'If. he re- 
pr6ached himself bometites, and keetily too^ for 
haring^ev^ connivetS at Walter'sr iniioeent deceit) he 
thoi^t at least as often of tl»' Mrl Carker whoi^ R^ 
sea^'cookt ever Hinder up ; and the Mn X>ombeyj' 
whom he now began to perceive was as far bey««d 
fattman recall; a«i the <*Heari*9 Delight,^ with 
whoni'h|e mudt kiever .fore^^ther again) and the 

II. s 

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%St MMIBEY AMD aOM 

Lowly Peg, tfatt tcak-boik mkI trim ballad, tint had 
gone «akore li^wft a lock^ ml split iato mere planb 
aod beams «f rhjne. The Captaio sat ia the dark 
abopt duBking or these thiiigs»totheentire exdoaoB 
of his own injury ; and looking Hfith u udmtjt 
upon the gmmd, as if in comemplatioD of tkir 
actnal frilgmcnts as they floated past himi 

Bat the Captain waa not lanaindfbl^ for all that, of 
aiich decent and respectful obseryaaces in mtatfxj^ 
poor Waiter, as he Mt within his power. Kwmi 
htmael^ and naosing Rob the Grinder (who in tk 
lonatarai twilight waa iast askep)y the Captam tallied 
fioffth with hia attendant at his hcel% «kd the door-key 
in hia Mckety^and aepairing to ooe of those coDvemeot 
slopselling establishments of which there is abeodflt 
eh^ce at th^ eaalem end of Loodoi^ porchaied od 
this spot two suits of nioQming-**-oae for Robtk 
Grinder, which was immensely too smaU, aad one 
fer hiraaeU^ which was iaMtenaely too large. He 
abo pioridedr &ob with a species of hat, greatly to 
be adminad. for ita symmetry and nsefutnefls, as weH 
as foe a happy blending of the mariner with the 
eoal-»hcmFei^ which ia wnally termed a sou'wester; 
and which was something of a novelty in amaoM 
wath the inatrumeot fansMMss. In their several gar- 
ments,, which the vendor declared to be mdi a 
iwade in point of fit as' nothing boa a. rare eon- 
binatian ot fortuitow cnrcuitaataneea. ever ixodght 
aboo^. and the fashion of. w^ich waa mparallded 
within the memory of the oldest inhaktant, the 
Captmn and Grinder Immediately anayedthmselyei: 
prosendng aispecmck fraught wkh wonder ts^'f^ 
bcUdit. 

In tins aheied form^the Captain reotivecl Mr. 
Toota. **Vm took aback, my lad» at preteot," 

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DOM0&Y AND SON tsr 

said the Captai^ ** and will only confirm that there 
11 news. Tell jhe yoiing woman to break it gentle 
to the young lady, and for neither of 'em never to 
think of me no more — 'special, mind you, that is — 
though I will thhik of them, ^en night comes on a 
hurricane atld seas is mountains rowling, for which 
overhaml yoco* Doctor Watts^ brother, and when 
found make a note on." 

The Captain reserved, until some fitter time, the 
consideration of Mr. Toots's offer of friendship, and 
thus dismissed hiiii. Captain Cuttle's spirits were so 
low, in tmdk, iliat he half deterfmned, that day^ to 
take DO Itinher precautions agaiMt sttrprisefrom MrSi 
MacStaiger, but to abandon hkncilelf recklessly to 
chance, and be indiCFerent to what might happMb 
As evetang came'od, he fell info a hmet frame of 
mind, hotirever i said spoke mtk:h of Walter to Rob 
the GHnder, whose attention slnd fidelity he likewise 
idcidefitfilly conimended* Rob did not blush to 
hear ^6 Capeain earo^si hk his praises^ but stit stciring 
at him, a&i affeedng td sf^^l with fifyinpathy, and 
making a fekit of bdng virtuotis^ and 'treasuring un 
every ^^rd he said (l&ig a yn^ung ^as he Was} 
with v«ry prttttising deceit* 



When Rob had turned in^ smd w^s fast asleeb, (he 
Capuifi trimmed the candle, pitt on his ^ctades-^ 
he had ftlt it appropriate* '10 take to 6pect*ele8 oitf 
enterifig hlto the instrument trade, though h«tf eyes 
were Itk^ a hawk's^^-afid opened the Pray^<*book at 
the Bttial Service. And reading scltly t6 li^miself^ 
in the M^e back^parlout^ and s^)ping now and then 
to wipe his eyes, the Ctapcairi^ in a ti>ue' atld Aimj^d 
spirit, Committed Waher^s body tor the deep. 



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t6o DOMBEY AIIQ4GON 

Chapter XXXIII 



TURN w< our eym upon two Ji^iimes ; not Ijiag 
, side bj «de, imt wide; apart, though both 
within easy range and reach of the great city of 
London. r 

The first. is situated in the green and wooded 
country near- Ncvwood* It i^ hot n mansion; it is 
of fio< pretensions as to si^ej bul it is beautifully 
arraogtdy and. tastdfiiUy kept*: The lawn* the sof^ 
smooth fllopei the flower-garden^ the. dumps of trees 
where graceful formB of ash and willow are not 
wanting^ the conservatory^ the -ruotic Teraadah with 
sweet-smdliBg creepijbg pJanCs entwiped about thfc 
pillars, the simple exiesior of ^ house, 4he lisett- 
ordered offices, xhodgh all iVpoo the dimbuti^e scale 
proper to a mene cot&ge^hbespeak an ilmount of 
ejagant conifort within, that mi^t serye for a.palace. 
This indicaticm is notiwil^out warrant,; for, within, 
it . is a house of refii^ement and lux;ury. Rich cokmrsy 
excelleody bkoded, Ji^ec^jt tfaiisi ley^ at eiKery turn ; in 
the furniture— ^its proportions {idmir^y- deyised' to 
spit the shapes and lize^ of :the smMl rooiits ; onr the 
wallsl $ upon the ilooc» ;, tingeing and subduing the 
light that comes in, through the odd glass- doors and 
wmdows here and. there* ,. There are a- few choice 
prints ^aodpictiiresy toa; jn quaint Aoqks.and recesses 
there is. no wast ci books; and there ane 'games of 
fkill and chance set ^£>rth on tables^r-^fantastic chess- 
men, dice>. backganiviop, card9» aod biUiardi. 

And yet amidst ;tl>iiB ofHileoee tif qomfbr^ th^ is 
something in the general air that is not well. Is it 
that the carpets sand the cushions are too soft and 

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noiseifesSy- M^that those who itKy«e or repose airtong 
•them teem to^t by>8tealdi? Is it that the prints 
and ptctnres do not tfommemoilate gre^t thoughts ^or 
deeds, or render -tatore in ' the poetry of hmdscapey 
hall^ or hat| bat are of one 'foluptiions cast-^metie 
shows of form and coloui^— ^^md pO n^ere i Is- it thiat 
the books have «dl their gold outside, and ,that the 
titles of the greater* part qiudify fhem to ht com^ 
panions' of the pHbts and pietut^s^ Is it thai the 
completeness and 'the beauty of 4^e place is here and 
there belied by ah iiiFectation of mmiiiity, in some 
taimportanf and inexpen^ve regard, which isr as false 
as the face of the too^ truly paioted portrait hanging 
yonder, or its miginal' at breakfatft in his easy chair 
below it? Or is it tbat^ with the daily breath of 
tliat oi^inal and n^aster of all here, there issues 
forth some subde portion of himtelf, which gives a 
▼ague expresnon of himself to eve'rything>aboat himf 

It is Mr. Carker- the* Manager who sits in the«asy 
diair. A gaudy parrot in a burinshed catge Upoiithb 
table te^s at' the 'wires with her beak-, und goes 
ws^king, upude down, in its dome-top, shakitig her 
house, and Screeching } but Mr. Carker ie* indifferent 
to die bird, tod looks with sT musing smile/ at a 
picture on the opposite waU. 

^ A most esttraiMxlinapf accident^ likeness, cer- 
tainly,'* says he* ' ^ '^ 

I^rhtfps it is a Juno $' pi^rhaps ia Potiphar's Wife ; 
perhaps 'Some scornful Nymph — ^according' as the 
picture deders found the market, when they chris- 
tened it. It is the figure of a woman. Supremely 
handsonM<, iHbo, tm'ning aWay, but With her face 
addressed to the spectatiM^ flashes her proud glance 
up€m hirai' .«.'.• • • • ; ' .:.« 

It is like Edith. i . i 

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With a pAssiag £e«turie of hk haqA ^ the pktnre 
-i^what! a ipenace? No; yet soipetluiig like.it. 
A wave as of triumph i No ; yet 9iore lake that. 
An insoirnr aahite wafiad from his lipa? No ; yet 
like that too — he reaomes hia breakfatt, and callt to 
the chafing au4 impriacmed birdy who, comiiig down 
into a pexxl^nt gilded hoop within the cage, like a 
great wedding-r i«g» awiilgs in it, for his delight. 

The secopd home ifl oq the od^r side c^ LoiKi0ii, 
ne^.to where the husy great north road of bygone 
days is silept aod aln^ost deserted* except by way- 
£irers who {toil ,alon$ on foot. It i» a poor, small 
house* bj^rely afid sparely fiM'^i^hed^ but very clean ; 
and there is even an rattemt>t ti^ decorate it, shown in 
the homely flowers traiiied about the porch. 9fjd in 
the ^arr^w garden. The nei^bbourbood in which 
it stands has as lit^e q( the coiMitry to recommepd it, 
as M! has of the town* It is neither of the town nor 
coviotry. The forjiier,Jike the giant in his travelling 
boota, has made aatride aiid passed ifj, and has aet 
his bri^krand-mortar heel a Umg way in advance ; 
tnit the intermedial space bet^wmn the giant's ^t, 
aa yet, is oiUy Uighted country. Mid ^ot town ; and 
here» among a few tall chimneys belqhiag smoke aU 
day and night, and among the brick-fields and the 
lanes where turf is cut, a^ where the fences tumble 
down, and where the dusty nettles gcow, and .where 
a scrap or two of hed§^ may yet be seen, a^d vhere 
the bird-catcher still comes oecaaionally, .thoi(]^ he 
aireftrs erery time to con^ no more-*Hhis aecoad 
home is to be found. ^ 

^he who. inhabits it, is she- who left the first in her 
demotion to an outcast hrojther. She-withdrew from 
that home its redeeming spirit, and from its master's 
breast his solitary angel : but though his liking for 



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i>c»iBEy AHD son M^ 

her is gomh «for this imgratefiil digbt fta he con- 
aders it ; and though he abandons her altogether ill 
relnni, an oM idea^of her is not .quit& forgotten even 
hjUm Lether ibwer-gaidea^sa whidiheaevor 
sets his £b^ but ^Hiich is yet maintainftd» amaog aB 
his cDsdy alterationst as i she had jetted it hut 
yesterday, bear witness ! 

HariwH Garker has changed since then^ and- on 
her beauty there haa Alien a iheavier shade than 
Time of his unassisted self «an cast, aU-^potent as he 
is — the shadow of anxiety and sorrow, and the daily 
straggle of a poor existence. But it is beauty :stili ; 
and stiU a gentle^ i|ii]rt| and reddog beaaty^Jthat must 
best^Ught outyfoT/kcaBqei'Tannt itseif; if it coald, 
it wotki he what it it» aiQi man* 

Yes« This. aUght^ amdl* patient figare^ neatly 
dressed in homely atnffs, and bdicatihg nothing' but 
the dally household ▼irtues^^that have sq.littk in 
common with the received idea of heroism.and greats 
nessy unless, indeed, any ray of Jthem should shine 
through the lives of die ^eat ones of the earthy when 
it beiDMies a coasteUation and is traohed in Heaven 
.straightway — this slight, small, patient iigunv leaning 
on the man still young but worn and grey, ia she his 
sister^ who» (^ all the warhUwent over to him in his 
shame and put her hand in his^ and with a sweet 
composure «ad determinalion, led him hapefaHy sqaa 
his barren wjty. • . ' . >: 

** It is early, John," she said. <'.Why doynugo 
soearly?'' 

<^N<^ many minutes earlier than usnal^ Harriet. 
If J have the time to spavev I shonld like^ I think-n* 
it's a faacyf-^to walk once by the house Where I 
took leave of him/' 

" I wish I had ever seen or known him* JeiKk'* 



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a64 OOMBBV AND SON 

- **lt'M better as it is, my dear, remembering bis 

fittR** • 

.^ Bhc I could pot regret it more, thomgh I Ittd 
jBBOwnibita* Is not your soirour ndne ? And if I 
Jiadf "pcrbapsyou woald^leel tba^I ^ims a 4)etter com- 
fanion^to y^u inspcbking about bim, tban I may 
seem now." . ► 

^My dearest •sister ! Is tbere any tbiag iHtbin 
<tbe raiige of. rejoicing or regrec« ia wbicb - 1 am not 
Bilre of your dompanionsbip >**'-'• 

** I hope yoQ tbink «not| John, for surely thav is 
nothing 1"' i- « 

. . M lakw oonld yoobe better to me, or nearer to me 
4ien» tban yot are in tbia, or aMythiog ? '' said her 
brotber. " I feel tbat yowidid' kno«r him, -Harriet, 
and tbat 31011 sbared piy feelings towards bink" 

Shfdrew the hand Mich had bton resting on lus 
ishoulder^ romuiibis neck^ and answeptd, widi some 
iieskaiioB,.' 

<« Nd, not qnit^'^ 
.- HTrae, tnkei " he said; '^you tlnnk I might 
baTe done liiflii no bah» if I had allowed myself to 
knaw'bim better^" ,' ... 

*< Think !• Iknowatu" • .., r ' i < 
. «f Designedly^ Hcavi^ knows I would • not^'^ he 
.Teplied, shakbg his bead 'mournfully;' «^ bat his 
iCepatalioD [was too precidns to be pei^tted by such 
association. Whether you share that kaoKrledge, or 
uipJiatf knj dAt* — ^'? ' .'- 

" I do not," she said, quietly. 
. 'iffk is'isttll tk» troth, Harrittt^iand my mind is 
-li^iten when I think of him for that wMkh made it 
.samadb heavier then/' ^ .He diccked^umself in his 
tone of melancholy, and smiled'upon her as he^ said 
''Go«i,bye!r' :. : , i : 

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HOMBEY AND 90K 165 

<<G0od4>ye» 4eir John I In the cv«fiitig, at the 
old tiine and place, I shall meet you as vadaA on fat^ 
wayfaeme. Good-bye.*' ' ' • 

The cordial &ce she lifted up to hk to kissldm, 
was his home, his life, his universe, and yet it was a 
pordtfi of his punislimeot ^cbd grief; lor ifa thci cloiid 
he saw u^n it^^-thoogh serene aaxi calm as any 
radiant cloud at suBset-^-^^aad b the constancy and 
devoiioh'^her Kfe, and in the sacrifice iixt had made 
of ease^' enjoyment, $md hope, he saw the bitter fruitis 
of his old crime, for ever ripe' and fresh. 

She stood at the door iookbg after him, with her 
hand* ^loosely clasped in eitoh other, is he ittade his 
way orer the frowsy and uneven patch of ground 
which by before their hous^, whicfar had once (ind 
not long ago) been a pleasaiit meadow, add wfts bow 
a very wastes with a (Utorderly orop'of beginning's df 
metfn housed, rising out of the rubbish, to if theyh^ 
been unskilfully sbwn there. Whenev^ he Idoked 
back — Qts-once or twice he did^— her cordial face 
shone like a light upon his heart; but when he 
plodded on his way, and saw her not, the teaf» were 
in her eyesius she stood watching htm. 

Her pensive form Was not kng idle at 'the door. 
TbeM' was daily doty to discharge, and 'dAify work 
to' do-^for such commmiplace spirits that are not 
heroic^ oftefl work hard widi'< their hands-^fltid 
Harriet was soon busy with her household tasks. 
These di^chargedy and the pO0r house made quite 
neat- and orderly, '^e counted her little <tock of 
money, with an anxiouS'fuce, and 'went out thought- 
fully to buy sofie iM^cessaries for their 'table, {banning 
and c<Mitrinng, ab' she went^ ht»w to 'save.' • So sordid 
are the iiv^st«f such low- natm^sy who are not oiifly 
not heipie to tHeir valetiil and waidirig-women,' 4$tft 

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^ AQMBSY AND SOU 

have neiUier val«ts nor waitiog-wavipQ to be.kcioic 
tawHball 

While 8he was absent, atid there waa no oot in the 
ho»e» there approached it ky a dtferent way from 
that the brother had ukoi, a gentleman, a ? ery 
little paat his frime.of life pechapiW but <af a healthy 
florid hve, an Uj>right preaeqce, ^and a bright clear 
aspect,, that was graqions and g0od-hpmo»red« His 
eyebrows were still black, fOid so was :mach of his 
hiair ; the sprinkling of grey ^ibservable among the 
latter, graced the former very mueh* And showed his 
broad 4^ank brow and honoBt eyes |o great advantage. 

Aftf^ knppjp^ once ait tbe door^ and oblainiogno 
iresponse, t^is: gentleman aat down on a bench in the 
littie porch, to wait. A ceirtain skflfol aiction of his 
fingcsrs aa be bwamed «oai^'.bars» and beat time on 
,the seat beiide hin^. seemed to denote the musicsan ; 
and the extraordinary mtisfactjon he derived from 
hummiog something very slow and lobg, whidi had 
noi'ecogoisahletune,i^eeiped t^ denote that he was a 
scientific one. 

. The gentkipan was still ^wtrlii^. a theme, wluch 
seemed to go rQ«i|d ,and wmi and rounds and in and 
in apd .vif jaal to io(v«ive it^etf like a corkscrew 
twirled upoa^a tabie» without getting anyneaoer to 
anything^ when Harriet- appeared retumiDg. He 
roiK up as she ^vai^ced, and stood with his head 
uncovered* 

<< You are come again, sir I" ^ said^ &ltering. 
. <« I lake that liJtiprty,'* he awwerei . *f May I aak 
for five minuiies of your leisiNw ? /' 

After a momjeotfs hesitmiion,.she opened the door, 
a^ gave him admission p» the little .parkran The 
geptlen^m sat Aoym there, dmw his chair to the table 
oMer .{igainst her^ ajad.ekud,- in « voite that perfectly 



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BOMW AHO SON «67 

cottetfoodsd to his «|ppearMice» aod with n timfltieity 
that WM TiSTf engaging : 

^MiM Harriety you: .caoDot be proud* You 
signified to me, when I called t'other morttiBg* that 
you were. Par4QiB: me i£ I my that I looked into 
your face white you. spoke^ and that it contradicted 
you. I look into it again," he added* laying his 
luuid geatly on her arm, for an imtant, ** and it con- 
tradicts you mofe and more.'' ; 

She was somewhat confused and agitated* and 
could make no neady answer. 

'< It Ml the mkror of truth/' aaid her visitor, **,mi 
gentkntas. Exf^se ray trusting to it, aikI retttrning*" 

His aaanner of saying these words, diTestod them 
entirely of the character of compliments. It was fl6 
plaia» g^ve^ unaffected^, aod sincere, that she bent 
her head, w if at once to thank him, and .acknow- 
ledge hia sincerity* . 

"The disparity between our ^ges," said the 
gentlemao, ** and tintti plainness of my pi\rpose, 
empower me, I am glad to think* U> speak my mind. 
That is my mind ; axid so you see me for the second 
time," 

** There is a kind of pride, sir," she retomed, 
after a moment's silence, ^' or what may be supposed 
to be pride^ which is mere.4uty» I hope I . cherish 
nootber.'^ 

« For yourself,", hetsaid. 

« For myself." 

" Buir^pardofiAie' — -" suggested the gisntleman. 
« For your broAer John ? " 

" Proud of his love, I am," said Harriet, looking 
fiiil upon hjer irfsttor, aad changing her.msmnier on 
theinatanti — notAhat it waaless composed: and /qmt» 
but that there wad'a deeprimptosi^nfid earnestness 'm 

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s68 DMlMEtf AMtt SON 

it tinl; made the very treinlile m her voice a part of 
her firmnessy ** and proud of him. ' Sir» yen who 
itdingely knqw the story of his life, and repeated it 
to tne vHheii yoo Mrere here lastJ— -^" 

'** Merely to make my way iniio your ccmfidence," 
interpoilMl the ^tlemam- **¥w Heaven's sake, 
don't suppose-^-*—** 

. "I am sure/' she said/ << you fevivedit, in my 
hearing, with a kind and geod^purpose. I am quite 
sure of it." ' 

** I thank you," returned hen Visitor, pressing her 
iMid hastily. ^1 ani'-rimch obliged to yea. You 
dome jusdce, I .assure you. You weref gomg to say, 
that' Iv who 'khow ihe story of Joim Carker's 
Hfew-:." . ... .. 

<^Nfay think > it pridei in itie^'*' she continued, 
^^en I isay that I ^m* proudof hihi. I am, Yoa 
know the time was, when I was not-^when I coukl 
nbt be — but that is past The himiility of many 
yeorSy the uncomplatntajf exnlation, the true repent- 
ance, the terrible i^egret^ th6 pain I know he has even 
in my affection, which he ^thinks hks cost me dear, 
thongh Heaven knows I am happy, but for his 
sorrow i-^^h sir, after what I- have seen, kt me 
conjure yoii, if you are in any place of power, and 
are everi wronged, iiev^,^ for any Wrong; inffia a 
punishment that cannot be recalled ; whOe there is 
a God above us to work -changes id the hearts He 
made." 

<«: Your brother is an altered man^" retwned the 
gentleman, compassionately. >f<l akunft you I don't 

' <« He was an altered manr when he did ivrong," 
staid Harriet.: <^He is an altered 'mittiagilin, and is 
IMS troe self nosw, helieve me, sir;"- -^ mi. 

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OmiBBSr- AH O SON 269 

'^But we go OH)" said her visitor, rabhiqg bis 
forehoidy in an abscBt .manner, with hi« hand, and 
then dramming thqoghtfidly.oa the table, ^we go 
on ii^ our clockwork roatifMif from day to day, and 
can't make^out, or ioHovi^ these chaises* Xhey — 
they're a motapbyaical sort of thing. We — ve 
ha^ien't Teitoe for it. ,We—rwe haven't courage.. 
They'fie not taughjb at cchools or cq|Iegf»» and we 
don't.know hofw to w^ about it. In short, we are 
80 d d bustnfasi'like,*' said the gentleman, walk- 
ing to the window, and back, and sitting down 
again, 'm a sute pf cKtreme dissatisfaction and 
Te&atton. . ,< 

**'I am m>Jkf" ss^r the. gentleman, rubbing hisi 
behead ^in; .iuid drmpamgon the table as before 
*« I hfvie^gW reasim .to believe rthat a jo^g-trot life, 
die same £:om day to d^iy* woold reconcile one to 
asy^hiag. One <Wt see. aaythis^, one don't, hear 
an3rthiD& obe don't know anything; that's the hcu 
We go on taking every]thi|ig &r granfted^ and bo, we 
go on^ imlil whajtever we do, good, bad, or findif- 
ferent, we do from h^biUt H^bitis aU I i^all ha^ye 
to re|MMt,.whefi I 'atn^call^ ^po^ u> plead jto.my 
cotueience, 4hi: my deafchrbed. • * Ha^ V says 1 4 ^ I 
waft deaf,.dumb| blind>i and parafyti^ to: a millioxx 
thmgs, .from habit*' ,* Very buainess-'like indeed^ 
Mr. What's-your-Q^me,' 6ay« Conscience, < W it 
won't do hect! ' '" ;. » . , ^. 

The gentleman get up and walked to the window 
again, and back :.< serioudy uiieaisy, th6$^h giviijig 
faMtmeaaiQess thiA. {peculiar e;8^^8iocL,.t 

<* Miss Harrieltf: be m^f resuming his chair, ** I 
wish, you w«iukl kt me serve yo!iu . Look at me ! I 
ought lb lo(^ honesty foi( I jpipw J^m ^ at pre^^t* 
Do I?" 



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270 DOMBfiY AMU SON 

** Yes/' she ans wered with a snile. 

** I baieve every wora yon harte mOf he t^Hui ' ih iu . 
<* I am full of setf-reproach thai I iiiig^ have known 
this and seen thts, and knowti you and seen yon^ aay 
time these do2enyear^ and that I never have^ Ihardly 
know how I erer got here — cniatnre that I am, not 
oi^y of my own habit, but of odier people's t Bat 
having done so, let me do something. I ask it in aH 
honour and respect* Yon mspife me with boch^ m the 
hfgh^fst degree. Let me do somethmg* 

** We are contented, sir/' 

«* No, no, not qmte^'* returned the gendeman. "I 
think not quite. There are some litde comfbrts that 
might smooth yoor life, and his. And his! " he 
repeated, fancying that haiif made some impression on 
her. **1 have beeti in the hAik of th^ddng tkzt 
there was nothing WMiting to be done for hiai^ that 
it was all settled and ov«r ; in short, of not tliiilriiig 
at afl about it. I am diflPerent n<mv Let mr do 
something for hmxr You loo,'' sidd the viator,, witk 
careful delicacy, ** have need to vmth your heakh 
closely, for his sake, and I fcHt k ftttls*" 

*< Whoever yoti may be^ sir^^ answered Bbrriet, 
raising her eyes to' his face*, ^i aM> deeply gmtefiil 
t0 you. I fM'ctrtMn t^t in Ay6a s»y, you have 
no object in the world but kindn«aiit»u8« Sut years 
have passed smce W6 began thi# life f a»d to> cake from 
my brother any part of what has so endeared htm to 
me, and sopmved hk beita?' pesoktfOA^^^Qy feag- 
nient eftke merit of his (massistedfoiiieure^ smd for- 
gotten reparatio n --"Wo n t d be Co dtmiiysh thecoadort 
it wiH'be tohim and ilic, iHien thld mttt ootties to 
each of us, of which yotr spoke jtt«C trtmr* I thaik 
you better wkh^tii^se Itfars'thon any vifofiB. Believe 
It, pray. 

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DOMBEY AHU SOM %7t 

The gentlemaa was moted, and put the hand 
she held out, to his tips, much as a tender hdncr 
might kiss the hand or a <hitifvi e&ild. But more 
revefeiluy. 

*'If the day shoald ever <Hmie/' aid Harriet, 
** when he is restored^ in party to the position he 
lost '' 

«■ Restored! ''cried the gentleonDy^ckly. <<How 
can that be hoped for ? In whose hands does the 
power of any restoracioB lie? It is no mistake of 
mine, surely, to sappose that his haying gained the 
priceless Messing of his fife, is one cause of the 
anuukMiiy snown to nnn oy ns orocner. 

** Yott tooch apon a sriiject that is never breathed 
between ns } not even between ns, said riarnet* 

*« I beg your forgiveness^'' said Ae visitor. *• I 
shodd Iwre known k. I entreat you to forget that 
I have done so, inadvertently. And now, M i <bii« 
urge no more — as I am not rare that I have a right 
to do so — though Heaven knows, even thai doubt 
may be habit," sdd the gentleman, rubbing his head, 
as <kspondendy as before, *<leenie; thoagha stranger, 
yet no atranger ; ask two fevoiirs." 

<^ What 9ft thl^ r' Ak inqm^ed. 

*' The first, that if yon shofdd see cause to change 
your resoin ti oB^ yoirwiU'sttflrei* metobeasyourright 
hand. My name diall then be at yotf service ; it is 
useRss now, smd always insignincut. 

^ Our efcoios of fneods," she answensd, sniilhig 
^iotly^ /^1t not so great^that I ntedaHy time for 
cottskteration. I can pitmnstf tliat." ^ 

^The'aecond; that yon will allow me somedmes, 
say eveiy Monday mommg^ ai nmt c^dbek-^-^-hAbk 
again — 1 imst be businesslike,'' said tdie gendemsffr; 
wkh a wiamsicai incfinatioA to quarrel with himself 

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»79 OOMBBY ANP fiON 

on that kead, *^ia waikmg past, to. (ee you at the 
door or window. I doa't ask to come in» as your 
brotber wiU beifone^out at that. hour. . I don-task 
to speak to yoo. I merely ask to see, foi; the aatis- 
facucHi X>£ my o^ mind, that ypu are wel]|. and wkh- 
ottt intnision to remind you, |:^.the sight of n^ that 
you have a friend — ^an elderly friend, grey-haired 
already, aod &8t. growing greyer — ^whom you may 
ever command*" 

The cordial face looked up In his; confided in it; 
and firomised. 

**l understand, as before,-' said the. gentlemaO) 
rising, " that .ypu .purpose not to mentjwm.piy yisit to 
John Carker,le(it4iet should be at all distressed by 
my acquaintance with hi« history* I aiq glad of it, 
ibf^ it 19 oiK ,of die ordinary coarse of thii^8» and — 
h^bit again 1." said the gfeatlem{io,.cbecki]^ hilnself 
impatiently,,f'< as.jf/there were no better course than 
the ordinary cowds ! " , , - 

With that he (ucned'to go,. tn4 walking, bare- 
tn^lded, to the outside of the Iktle porch, took leave 
of her with such a happy "mi^tvrt of ^constrained 
respect and unaffected interest, -as np . breeding 'Covld 
have uught, no jruth .{iMsti;-iip^, japd ^othing^but a 
pure and single .heart] fi^kpiiessed* :-. 

Many half-forgotten emo^oes wei:e awakened in 
the 8ister's<mind by thi$ fkiL . 1% wa^ 6o. very loqg 
since any other visitor hsKi; crossed their threshed; 
it wil9>sQ very, long since, jmy yoi^i; of sy^piithy had 
maderwd musi^ in her fam ^^t the sMrm^ger'^ figure 
remained present to tueiy hours afterwards, when she 
sa^.at;the>wwdow»plyiQg her needle; and.his words 
seemed nev^ly apokeat ^ain and agaiit*. He had 
touched .thesprnig di^. opened her whole life; and 
if she Jpsi him for %>8H9rV>»paGe, it fwaa .^tfily 9mong 

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DOMBB^. MWi SOU tjt 

the maay ahspcftlof the^lHle peat rediUection of 
which that life t was made. 

Miisii^ aad wteking by tnnui; now coastrainiiig 
herself to be stsady at her needle for a loag tbne 
togettor, and aow letting her work fail^ unre^rdcd, 
on he» lap> and istnyiBg wheresoever her busier 
thovghts kdi :Harriet Carker Urand thb hours 
glide by her, and. the day? steal on. The momtag, 
which had been bright and clear, gradually became 
overcast ; a sharp whid set in ; the rain fell heavily ; 
and frdark mist drooping, over dbe distant town, hid 
it fronathe view* . . 

She often looked with compassion, at such a time, 
upon thC'Stn^glersiwho came waoderitq; into London, 
by the great iiighway hard hy^ and who, footsore and 
weary; and gazing ftar&lly at the huge town befere 
them^ aa.if foreboding that their misery there wouU 
be but.aa a. drop of water in the. sba, or as a grain of 
sea-sand on. the-diorei went shrinking on, cowering 
before the.angry) weadifcr,, and looking^ if the very 
eleraenta rejected fiuia^ Day after day, touch travel- 
lers Csept! past, but always^^ as she thought, in one 
direiStionT-Adways^ towards the town. Swallowed up 
inoae.phaaeor other of its anmensity, towarda Which 
they seemed impelled by a despente iasdnatibn^they 
ne^wr relwnedi Food for the hospitals,, the cliurch- 
yanb,>the.peiaQalB,theriver^ fover, madness^ vicei^and 
deallv-^hey passed on to the monster, roaring in the 
distance, smd were lost. ... i 

TheoUU wind was howling, and the. rain was 
falling,* and the daj was. darkening moodily^ when 
Harriet, raising her eyesiirom the. work on which 
die. had long since bcien engaged/ fwith nnremittiag 
conatancy, saw onetkf jHfaesertravellers iaj^oaching* 

A woman. A sottcary waman^of some thirty years 



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tr4 DOMBBY AKOr 80M 

of age; tall; welMbraKdf haadaoiiie-; n m nM f 
dressed ; the soO of many comitry roads in vmd 
weatli«r«*<liiat» chalky clay, gnMrri-*»<lotted on la 
gttj cloak by the ttnaming wct|> i» bonoct ob \m 
hcad^nothmg lo defaad her rich hbok hair fiom ik 
rain, buta torn handkerchief} with the flntteriag endi 
of which»and viii her hair, the wind blinded ber, « 
that she often stoffied to posh them back^ and look 
apon the way she was going. 

She was in the act i^dcnng 8o» wiwn Harriet ob- 
aeiVed her. Aa her iiands,, paitii^ on ker aiai-Jwat 
forehead, swept across her face, and threw aside the 
Inndranoes that enoroachad i^on it^^iere waa a reck- 
less and r^apdiess faeanty in it ^ ardaBndcss and 4ie- 
]iraYBd indifference to mare than weather? a carelen- 
nesB of what wis cast upoO her bare head fron 
fafcavan or learth-s :lhai:^jooiqded with her miaecy sod 
iondinrss, tooobed tke heart of her feHow-woaun. 
£ihe tfaottght of all that was pcmrertod and debsted 
within her, no. less tfilm wilhbat 7/ of modest graco 
of the nind» hardened and stadsd, Jike these annc- 
taoQS of the person.; of the many gjSu of'tha Creator 
fluAg to thft winds* like die wild faak; oif ali ^ 
ibeamifnl rainrupon.whMli the etormtwas bedting and 
the night was •oomsng;* i> 

1. ThmlMt^ of this^ she did not tarh awa^ wilb a 
^delicate ijidsgiiation— too many .of ixp^ownvoaips- 
sioaate and tepder sex too oftim do-^Hitpitied her. 

Her fallen sister came on, looka^j£tribefoiielier, 
trying with. her. eager. ^yaatopier^eidie ^iik iniduch 
^e ci^^%a8 enshnKidsd,aad^h»dn^nowanddieQ, 
irdfai ssde io jsdcy wid» die bewildared and mKcttin 
. aapeofc of ta straagep. , ■ .Though her tread was bold »d 
coupagfious^ she wias fatigued^ and albsr a arament of 
ireesoltition, sat down apon a Mip 6f sumeai seeking 



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OOMBEY AND S09i trs 

no abdter froia the run» but letting it xaiii 4m hats 
it would* ' 

She va«Aow opposite the. beuae; rsa&mg her had. 
after resting it for a moment ob both handa^ her eyes 
met those t>f Harriet. 

In a moment, Harriet was at cfce door ; and the 
other» rising .from her seat at her faeck^came slowly^ 
and with no oonciliatory lopkf towarda her. 

^^Why do you rest «n the rain^ '' said Harriet^ 
Mitly. 

<< Because I have oo other ffesttng^plaoe/' was .the 
reply. 

^ But there are many places of shelter near here. 
ThiSf'^ referiing to the Htde porch, << is better, than 
whete you were. , Yon are ?eiy weioame to jeet 
here." 

The wanderer .iookec} at her,<in doubt aad^surprise, 
but without any expresdonof thaidifulness ; and sil^ 
ting down, and taking j9ff one of her worn shoes to 
beat out the fragmento of stoae and dust that weve 
inside^howi^'th^t her ^(bot w^ cut and bkeding. 

Harriet uttering ^an expEessibn of {Mty^.the traveller 
looked up with a contemptuous ^od incredukwa smile. 

<< Why, what's a torn foot to such as me ? '' she 
said, i *^ And what's a u^m ifoot in such as mey to 
such as you?" ^ 

^ Come in and wash it," answered Harriet, mik%, 
** and let me give you somethiiig to bind it up." 

Tlie wqman caught her. aaBi» alid daiwing it4)efore 
her ow^ eyes, hid tfiem ugainst it» asd wept. Not 
like a womai^ but like a stemtiDaii s^ttprised into that 
weakness ; with a violent heavmg of her breast, and 
struggle for recovery, that showed hOw noiisQal the 
emotion was with her. 

She submitted to be Jed (into the. teuse, aiMl,'evi- 

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deadjr mofe in gratttode tbaa in any cttte for hcndf, 
washed and bomid the injured place. Haxtict dien 
pot before Iwr the fragiaentsofhcf. owtt frugal dsoner, 
and when ahe had eaten of 'them, thoagh sparingly, 
beaoaght her, before resuming h^ road (wiiich she 
thomeA her anxiety lo do), to dry^er cloches before 
the fire. Agaiti> man in gratitude than with my evi- 
dence of concini « lier own behalf, die sat down in 
front of ity and unbkidiag th^ handkerchief aboiit her 
head, and letting her thick wet hair fail down below 
her waist, aat drying it with the pahns of her hands, 
and looking at the blaze. 

**I dare say you are thinking,-^^ ^e said, lifting 
'her. head suddenly, ^ that i used* to be handsome, 
tmce. I believe I was-^I' know I wad. Look 
here ! " 

She heU up her' 'hair* fdilghly with both hands; 
Mzii^ it as if'iAte would hate tbrn' it out ; then, 
threw it down again^ and flang it back addlough it 
were Ji heap of serpents.' ■•' ^ 

«^ Are ydu a stranger id tMs place?*' '^iked' Harriet. 
*< A stl^sger ! '' 'she ^returned, siopfnng between 
eack diort teply^ and looking at die 4ire, ** Yes. Tien 
or a dozen years a stranger. ' I haveliaicl'no alnjianack 
whcse I have beenb Tttior a dozenf years." I don't 
know this part. It's much altered since I went 
.away."- •.. i^ ' • v- .. , w - • • »: - 
«* Have you been f«*?" ' 
■u ** Very nu*. Mdntlid- updn mbnths over tlie sea, 
and far away even then.- i have been where fconvicts 
go/^ she added, lodking full upon het'^^tertainer. 
« I Juive been one myfietf.'* 

** -Heaven- help you and forgive ydu ! "was the 
gentle answer. 

*«,Ah t' Heaven help 'me and forgivt me f "she 

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DQMBEY AH1> * SON 277 

returned, nodding her hedd at the fire. ^* If man 
would help some of usia little: morei God would' for- 
give us all the sooner perhaps.^' " • ' 

But she iMas aoftyned fay the earnest maniier, and 
the cordial face so fnlli of mildness and so free from 
judgment) «f her^ and said, less liaidiiy : 

** W^ may /be about the 4sLtae aage, 'you and me. 
If I am older, it is not abofe a year or two. - 'Oh 
duakofth»tJ*' . . ■ . 

Sh«,opc9^ her armsy as though the exhibition «f 
heriputward form would show the moral witcch ^Ane 
was; and-deuing.them dxop at her sides, himg down 
her head. 

" There is nothing we may not hope to repair; it 
is never too late to amend,*' said Harriet, **You are 
penitent " 

" No," she answered. . " I am pot ! I can't be. 
I am no such thing; Why sh^ould /be penitent, and 
all the world go ffee.. They, tajik to me of my 
penitence. Who's penitent for the wrongs that have 
been done tame f ^' ^ . ' • • . \ 

She robe upy bound* her hatidk^hi^f about he^ 
head^: and turned to 4nove'i\^ii>fr;'' ' 

« Where areiyou gbinig t ^' 'said Hkrrii^ 

'<< Yonder,'- she answered, pointing with he^ hand. 
•^TbiibnAm." .- '^' '■ :^ 

*« Haveybtt^aufy home to^o to? " ' 

*^I tl^ok^I have a mothtff. She's' as much a 
nioth^r,.ae her dwelling Is a hdAve,^' 'she answered 
witii a bitter lai^. * " « - * 

; «<iTidce this^" oriod Harriet, pJbetiii^ ftio<i^'ln lier 
hand. ^ Try to do wd!i» It i#^iy little, but for 
oneiday'it may^kcep yowi-dmliaiYn;^ 

^Are you lndrnh!d^'^ 9M the o^r, ftintly, as 
she took it., j. '■■ '-■ ^'. - ''•■'■^'■' ■• '-' ■ 



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27< DOMBEY AKD SOU 

*< No. I Ktc here wkh my brotbcr. We have 
not much to spxcf or I vmxM pve yon moie.'' 

« « Will yott let me lin you ? " 

Seeiog no scorn or re p ugn an ce in her face, the 
object of her charity bent over her as die asked the 

Question, and preMbd her Kps against her dicek. 
)nce more she caught her arm, and covered her eyes 
with it ; and then was gone^ 

Gone into the deepening night, and howling wind, 
and pelting rain;i uigmg her way on, towards the mist- 
eoshiXNided dty where the blurred lights gleamed ; 
and with her Uack hair, and disordered head-gear, 
fluttering round her reckless face. 



Chapter XXXIV 

AMOTHCIl MOTHER AND DAUGHTER' 

IN an ugly and dark room, an old woman, ugjiy and 
dark too, sat Ksiening tD the wind and rain, and 
crouching over a meagre fir^ More constant to the 
last-named occupaticcn than the first, shenevev changed 
her attitude^ nuless^ when any stray drops of rain fell 
hissing on die smouldering embers, to raise lutr head 
with an awakened attention to the whisding and pat- 
tering outside, and gradiu^y to let it fall again kmer 
and lower and lowar as she s^nkiimto a broodiiig^tate 
of thought, in which the noises of the n^ht were as 
indistinctly ri^garded ^« M the monotonous idlm^ of 
a sea byooc^ who.siljB in cotitempbtion on its shbre. 
There was no light in jfeh^.^oom «v«e ithat which 
the fire afforded* Glaring AillenU.fixmi time to time 
like the eye of a fierce bmt half asleep, it nveaied 

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MmBSy AHO SCMt S79 

no ojbjecu thill needed to. be jealow of a better 
display. A heap of rags, a heap of hones, a wretched 
bed, two or three mutilated chairs or stools, the bkck 
walls and blacker ceiling, were all its winking bright- 
ness shone -upon* As the old womaa, with a gigantic 
and distorted image of herself thrown half ugoo the 
wall behind her, half upon the roof above, sat bend- 
ing ^^t the few loose hrieka wilhin whidi it was 
pent, on .the damp hoacth of th« chtmnfyr-Hfiur there 
was no stoyen-Hihe. looked as if shewei^watcliiqgrat 
^ooie wiiqh's>akar fot a faTonrabie tokfn^-MKl imt 
Aai the mo!<reBie9t.of her chattering jawa and trem- 
Uing chin was too frequent and too ftst for the slow 
flickering of |he iire^ it would have aaemed an illuoo* 
wTQB^t by the lights at* k cam^ and v^ent^ upon^a 
face as motionless as the form to which it^bekiqged. 

If Fbrenoe could have stood wkhin the room and 
looked upon the mginal of the shadow thrown upon 
the wall and rooi, as It cowered thus ov^r the fire, 
a glsu^e might haTeiniAiced to recall the! figure of 
Good Mrs* Bipwn^^; notwithstanding thati her 
chikUsh f ecoUe^tion^f 'that terrible old woman was 
aa. grotesque and exaggerated a presentment of the 
truth, perhaps, as tk%^ shadow <)n the wall. Biit 
Flor^ce was not ^hefe to. look on; and Good 
Mrs. Brown remained (»nrec(ignised^ rand wt(.ataring 
ather fire, i|ncibperv<fd«i vi v. 

Attracted by a louder apotberio^ than asual^ as the 
rain .«anie hifilieg^own.^ chioviey in a. Kittle stream, 
the^ddr ntfqmw.raised her 'Ke^d, in^atieady, to listen 
afresh. And this time she did not rfropf' it again i 
for there was a, hand upon; ihc door^ and a Aotstep 
in the room. /: ' . 

« Who's thatT' sh^' aMd^ fawUng over her 
ahoulder.. , 

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sio DCMf Bsy Mm son 

^One tHw briiigt yoa ntws^" was the aoBvcr, 
m a wonao's tbice. 

«Nem? Where fronr?" 

••Froadbrafld.'' 

**Fram beyond seat?" cried Uie eld woman, 

** Ay^ ntm wsyoiid Mas* 

The old wooyoi raked the fire together, harrkdlj, 
Mid gM^ date to her tisttor mrho had esfiet^, and 
Am tke deer, aid who now stood hi the niddk of 
tke lowaj father hand apon die drenched doak, 
Mid t^ned the wnrfsistmg figurcy so as to have it m 
tkefoHli^torthefirew She did not find what die 
had cKpedied, iHiaiever that tai^t be $ ffM* die kt 
the <;loak ga agao,- and ittterod a qoenibiis cry of 
dMHaiflttficiit and ausery* 

«• What is the mtaer ? " asked her visitor. 

«*Oho! oho l^ cried the old woman, tatmg 
her face ifwardf widi a lerribie howL 

•* What is the matter ? ** asked the visttor agaia 

** It's not my 1^ ! " csried the oMf woman, tossiog 
a|»hcr arasy and cbsping hfei* hands above her head. 
••Where's my Alice? Where's mf hattdsome 
daaghter ? Tliey' ve been the death olt her ! " 

^ They have not been the '4eath of her yet, if 
yoor naaM's Marwood," saidithe visitor. 

<<Have yoa seen my gal« thenP' cried the oM 
wmnaik •• Has* she Wroie to me ^'' 

•< She said yoa ccaddil't viibd/' returned dtt other. 

^No more I <an 1^*"^ exdaimed the did" liromaB, 
wriogmg her haikls. 

««Have yoa ttb li^ht here?"'8ftid thtj^ odicr, 
kmking round the room. 

The <dd woaaaii, ntambMg and shakbgf faef head, 
and mattering to herself about her haadsofoe 



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DOMBEY AND SON iSt 

daughter, brought a candle from a cupboar<l fn the 
comer, and ihrnsting it iatd the fire with a trembling 
hand, lighted it with mutne difficulty and set ic on 
the table. lui dirty wick btimt diml^ at -first; 
beii^' choked in its • bwn' grease ; aokl wh^n the 
bleared eyes and failing sight of the 6ld Iroman 
could di8tid|fiii«h anything by its light, her vidtor 
was diking^ wMi her iums folded^ 1^ eyes fdrned 
downwards^ and k handkerchief ^6' had worn upon 
her head lying on the table by her side. 

•* She sezrt to- me by worcif of mouth then,' my 
gal,'!AJice >^^' mtm^M'the kM wonian, after wait- 
ing for some moments. ^ What did she say ? '^ 

« Look,** renmied th«t ^har. 

The old woman repeated the word in a «cared 
uncertain' wdyt" and, shading' her eyes, looked at 
the speaker,' rc/und the rooln, «id 'at *the'*speaker 
once iigl^in. - ' * ' '■ 

A^e said '<* Look again, mothef ; '^ and the 
speaker fixed her-eyei upon her J 

Agaitf'the old woman looked round the roomi 
and at her yi8itof,axid' round the room on^e more. 
Hastily seizbii the caUdlr, and rising firom her seat, 
she held itto the visitor's -face, uttered aloud cry, 
set don^'die light, slid Ml tipon hei" neck I 

" It's ikiy gal ! ItV ihy A3icei it'fr ray hand- 
some dtax^Stetf Itvitig and eorae'itaek ! ^' screamed 
the old wiMttan> rocking '■ herself td^'and Iro lipoti the 
breast that coldly stifFefed her etnbra^ei ' '**li*k tny 
gai !^ 'It'^'my Alice't it's my handsome dtughter^ 
Hviajg ind'KSOTtHs baek !•'* she^ screamed again, drdp- 
mng'ito the fioor before her, clasping hist knees^^ 
laying her head against diem, -and still robkingf her* 
self to and firo widi every frantic' dononsSadon 
of which her vitality was capable. 

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ztz DOMBBV Atm SOU 

" Yc8, mother," returned Alice, stooping forward 
for a moment and kissing, her, but endeavonriog, 
even in the act, to 4^^eng9^ herself from her em- 
brace. ** I am here« at last* . Let go^ mpther ; let 
go* Get «p^ and sit in. j/9Vr chair. What good 
does thid do ^^• - . 

" Shp*8 come back bardm* than she .went J ":cried 
the mother, looking ilp in her face, md stilt holding 
lo. her kneed. ''She don!t care for mel after all 
these years, and all the wretched life I've led !*" 
. **, Why, mother ! " said Alice, shaking her cagged 
skirts to detach the old woroaoi from them : ^ there 
are two sideiK to that. -There have been years for 
me as well as yon, and ihere-has been Wretchedness 
for me as well a» yon^ r Cret^np* get up !^". 

Her mother rose,, and eried, and wnu^ Her hands, 
and stood at a littli^ distance gazing oi| her. Then, 
she took the candle again, and going rcnmd her, 
surveved hbr from head to foot, making a low moan- 
ing all the time. Then she put the candle down, 
resumed bet cJiair, and beating her bands together to 
a kind of weary tune, and rolling herself from aide to 
side, eoDtiaued moanmg and wailing to herself 

Alice got up, took off her wet cloak, and laid it 
aside. That done, thff sat downi .a6 before, and 
with her arhiis folded; and- her eyed gazing at the 
ire, remained ailetdy listening with a ooiupmptnous 
face «to her ^Idmodier's inarticulate complainigigs* 

'^Did'you expert to aee me return as ypuithfy as 
I went away, mother I " she said al lengthy turning 
her ciy^s upon the old woman. <> IKd yoti dnsik a 
(brei^ life, like mtn^, was good for good looks f 
On© would bediBie 80» to he«: yo» I " , 

*«It aa't that!'* cried the mother. ♦«*& 
knows it ! '* 

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DOMB&y AND SON a«3 

<< What 18 it then ? '' returned the daughter. ** It 
had best be somedilng that doa't last/mother, or my 
way oat is easier than my way in." 

•• Hear that ! " exclaimed the mother. " After 
all these years she- threatens w> desert me in the 
moment of her coming back agam ! '^ ^ 

■*Z'tell you, mother^ for xht siecond time^ there 
have beeta y tors 'for me as well as yoQ,'' aaid Alke* 
** Come back harder ? Of course I have come back 
harder. What ehe did you expect ? '' ' 

«« Harder to me ! To her own dear mother ! '' 
cried the old Woman. 

•« I dofl^ knoitr who began to harden me, if my 
own dear mother didn't^*' she rlitumed, fitting with 
her'f<[Med armft, and knitted brows, and compi>essed 
Hps, as if she were bent on e^luding, by force, 
every softer feeling (ran her breast. *< Listen^ 
mother, to a ivord or twok If we uhderstandeach 
other now, we shall not.^H^ out tany more^ perhaps* 
I went away a'^irl, and have come-back a woman. 
I went away undttfciftd enooglH and have come back 
no beftier, you may dwear. B«» have* you been very 
dutiful t» me r' 

♦•11" cried the old woman. « To my crwri 
gal ! A mo^ier datilul to hei* own child ! ^' ' > 

<*It sol^s imnatura!, don\ ft ? ^' returned the 
daughters lookihg boldly on her n^th her sterb, 're- 
gardless, hdrdy,b«autift]l faoe; <<but I havethoaght 
of it sometime^,' ift the courM; of m^ hnt year6, tfll I 
have got used to it. I have' heard some talk about 
duty first and hwt ; but it has always been of my 
duty tb other people. ' I havt^ wondered ' now and 
thenP^— to pass a#ay the %ime — ^whether no one ever 
owed any duty to me. 

Her motlieir' stit wowing, and thumUibg, and 

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st4 DOMBEY ANO SON 

•faftking her head, bufc>whether aagpHy, or 

fiilly^ or iadeoial, or 011I7 m lier.|Ay«ical ii^niitt^ 

did not appear. ■* 

*«There was a child called Alice Marwood," 
•aid the daughter, with a laugh » and Ipoki^g dom 
at herself in terriUie derisimi of herself, ** born-aiBepg 
poverty and neglecl^tand iNVSed- in it. Nsbody 
UagKt her, hobodjT stepped forward to -help faefi 
»oMv cared for her. 

*< Nobody!*' ec^Kied 4he mother, pointng to 
herself, and striking^ her breast, 

** The only care she knew," returned the daagbter, 
** was to be >beaseB^ and. stinted^ aad abased, sosk- 
lHies( and she mi^t hiayed<me belter without tbat 
She Jiyed tnr homes like thwr tnd in, the streeHi with 
a cvsfwd of litde wretches- like herself; and yet she 
hronghtgood looks ouii of -this chaUbood. . So much 
the Worse for her. She hadbettciE ha?Q heei^ hunted 
and wofiied. to d««th {($t vgbiiess.-^. , 

<fGo<oQ4 go^onl>".exd^iined.Uie mother.. 

*f I am going-ofi," r^furaed the da^hter^ '^Tbere 
was a girl called Alice Marwood«-;r>She waa hand- 
some. Sh^'was taught too late,"2»kl taught all 
wrong.. She was feoo well cared £i^, looi well trained, 
too well helped on, too muchli^oked ato* Yoa 
w^re.ver^ fotid of her — ^y6u were betttv,,off then. 
What oame.lo that* girl^ comkil^ito thoos^a every 
year«) It wti^oply rui^iapd she wnf.honi to it." 

= w. After all ihNe years.! '• wJn^nq^tfee old woman. 
fcjhfy g9l bsginsFwithithia'^' | «i mi •. : 
r/«»She'U soon, havei wled/*: said tfee daaghter. 
«« Thfsre; Was a criminal :|:a|led. Alice Ii(fsrwood-4 
girl still, jwt deserted an4;sn:diiteast4- Andshe^iras 
tried, and she was sentenced. . And Lordy<hptr the 
gendemen>;)n rthei conQ ^1^ ftbou$,|^| and hov 

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DOMBfiy. AlOft 18OH «t5 

grsFe tlie jodgewUiOO h* duty, aad on her. htarmg 
peryerted tiie^ifte cf iutiiren-4ii£ W <lidft!l know 
better tfiaii aoj^xidyheoey' that they httd^been inde 
corses to her! — sani how. he preached ahoat. ibe 
stfoog arni«£>the Law'-'t^o Tery.itroog to aai«.her9 
when she waa^aniiipooetit and hdpless little wretch! 
— aad hoV' aoleiim. andxeligioiia it all was 1 I have 
thought of that, aaany times since, to be /sore 1 ''. 

She foldfid her arms tightly on her breast,, and 
lao|^ in s ]looe that made «the .hcMiiri of the old 
woman mnsicai >i . - . 

*< So Alice Marwood was tranapoited,. mother," 
she pursaed, ** and iH^a sent to leam her daty, whm 
there wa& twenty timest less, dnty^ aiki aooer.lricked* 
ness, and wrong,* and^ «ifittny,>jthan heoe« And 
Alice Marwood is conle back a woman* Such a 
woman /as she ooght to be,\after aU .this.* In«gtXMi 
tkne,.tbiere will be more soiemnityi. and' more line 
talk^ and more strong arm, moat Hkely, and. there 
will be anend of hie ; hut the gdntlctaien' needift 
be afraid of heing thrown out of workL^ These's 
crowds ollittier'wretGhea,:bDy and girl, growing: ip 
in any of tbd streets^ they live in^l)hBi'^ heq» th^n 
to it till tfaer^v« inade their foctunes/V 

The old.wbman.leahedher elbolvs.dfc tho^iahle, 
and resting her: ;&oe, upon her twoi. baiids^ madb: a 
8how> of * being in / gr^at distressn^i-oc . treaUy . was^ 
perhaps. . > ^ - ! .. 

^^Tbon'! I have^don^ mother,'', said the 
daughter, with a motion of. her head^' as; if in dis^ 
misnlvof the^sabjbtft; . '^tl have saideooogh. . Don't 
let yon au^taik bffcenig doti^ wlutterer we do. 
Your^^jlA^dhood^was Uke mine, rkuBpOseT i^ much 
the f^se for ixith of us. ' Ifdon t ,want to blame 
yoi^or tO' defend^myself ; why shotdd I? j. That's 

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sM DOMBBY AHO SCMff 



T^lomgagiL Bat lama wonufr— oota^My 
yea and I aeedn't vake a abow of ov 
hmtrjt Kke the gertlcmfg in the court, fi^e kmm 
JL abnt it, «dl enough.'' 

Lntt and dcpndcd as the wa% ditre wm a beauty 
in kaf both of &cc and fbrm^ wfaick, evca in its 
want exprnsiaoy conld not bot be iccogniaed as 
•neb by any one r^ardiaf ber «kh the least atten- 
tion. As she snbwded into siknce, and her &ce 
vbtcb bad been barddy agitated^ ^useted down; 
while her dark eyes, fixed upon the .&e^ exchanged 
the fickiess bgbt that had aniwiaHwi tbeaa, for one 
tbat nvaa softened bf somelbkig like soitov ; there 
sbonetiinNi^ aliher waywioen.miaer3r and fitfagae, 
a my of the departed sadanoe of the faUen angeL 

Her mother, after vatchii^ ber for some time 
wMfaoni ^)eaking, ventured so steal her .withacd 
bead a .Jittk aeanr -to her across ibe table.;, and 
inding that she permitted this, to touob ber Bkc, 
and sanooib faer bmr. Widi the feeling, as it seemed, 
that*tfae old woman was at least sincene in this Aom 
ci inatiesi, Alice asade^no moveaient to check her ; 
so,adaaMing Iwid^ecs^ she boand i^ber dan^ncr's 
hs^ afresh, took vS ber wet sboesi if tbey deserved 
tbeiaune, t|»ead something ^dry upon her shoulders, 
and boreredtinunbfy about ber, nutttefing aariiersel^ 
as she feoognoed her old featuns and expreanon 
more and more* 

** Y4» are very poor, .mother,. I see,*' said AHce, 
kMlkittg toondy when: skethad sat thus for seme (time. 

^^'Ktter fooc, aay deay^^.^|j|||j^e dd woman. 
^Sks adanedhcT d|g^^tcc,udi^^ of iicr. 
■*■*•!* her)adaaan(aoo,.«iicb as it^wa^ 'hae^^^'^S*'^ 
ated long aga^ .wtei she Brm. £6nad anythtiui ^' 
««a beauft&i appearii^ in the midst of thTi^iJ^** 

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iXliffBSSr ANB SON ftSr 

%lu of her exigteaoe. Perha)M her 6ar wattefe*- 
ablet m •ome sort, to the oetrotpect dtit bad m 
iatdy heanL i^Be this at. it mighty ahe .atood, 
sahraiubfefy and definrentially^ befoue her child, and 
incliiM ilifir head, as if in a •pitiM eatrealf to be 
spaicd aay firther rafieoadi, 

««HiMriiayeyottliimLr/. , 

«* By beggiag, my dealry/'' 

** ibki.pilfitnagy mother i** 

^SoBiedffleay AHy-^-^ a very onaU way* I am 
old and timid. I Imve taken triiles from chiidten 
now and then, my^ deary, iwt not. often. I have 
ttaoqied about Hbe cotinti^ pet, and I know What I 
know. I have watshed.'^^'. 

^ Watched I " rmarned the daughtov baking at 
her. 

^i iune hhhg abdat a iaauly^my deary/' taid 
the another, ef«B mbre huiaUy aad tiibnuasiveiy than 
beftre.^: 

^ What iamily r ' . u . 

** Hush, iarlmg. Don't b^ angry 'with oae. I 
did It lor the love 'of youu in niiBaftory of «ty poor 
gal beyond seat." She put out her hlHai dtpreoat*- 
ingly, and d raw ii ^ ' ?it faacV again, laid < it en her 
lipt»'- :;."..•.-• 

^ Years a^o^ nij^ deary," 'th^ |i«rauBd, giancmg 
tiniitiy at thvattontive and v^atnu fate opposed to 
her, ^ I oaiAe.BenMt his-iittle chiid^hy chaaoe." 

«Wli08e<ihai?" 

■ MNot haa^ AMee deary^.'xkm't look at me 'like 
that*^ aotinBc How could it (be, hit ? You know 
he has none." 

«* Whose then ? " returned thfe cbuighter* « You 
said his." 

^ Hush, Ally ; you frighten me, deary. Mr. 

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Ill DoaiHnr Msmmom 

Dombey'ft-»«<nly ' Mr^ Dombey^s*. jSiasx then, 
darlings 1 liavc aeen thern'ofteo..: I faKVB Bcmlm" 
. la attmi^ fhu last word, the :cld ivbman siitank 
amd . reoDiled^ -as if: with x nidden fear ifaafe. her 
daughter >vouU atrike htu- /But thDugb the 
daughter's face was fixed npoa: her, and expreiaed 
the most Tehement passibn^ • she remainKl still : 
except that she clenbhcd her arms . tighter and 
tighter within each other, on her bosom^ as if to re- 
strain them by^ that means kisnoJ doing an in jmy to 
herself, or some one elae,- in- the: blind iiiry of the 
wrath that suddenly |x>iB8essediher*: . 

<< Little, hei thougfat who. I was;! *^. said . die old 
woman, shaking her clenched^faand. . '. i 
. <^Aad Utile tiflcaocd! ''.muttered ^her.jdaaghter, 
between her teeth. 

<. «<Bat.there'we.1trere/'said4ihejoki.WomslD9<<face 
to fece. ' (1: sfkike^so i^tt^^nd he spoke to m& I 
sat and watched him as he went away down a kng 
grove of trees ; and at eyery st^p he took I cursed 
him,»ul'«idbgcty.*V; /.: -1 

- << He will tfarvre iik spite of 'that^'' returned the 
•daug^ittr disdainfirily*. .. { .x''< . i 

*< Ay^> het is thr&nng/' said i the anodttri .. 

She held her peace \ for the face and form before 
her wer&lmsiMiied by rage.^ It «8^eRied .a» if the 
bosom'si^oukl. burst with thei enotioad: that istoove 
within it. .The<efifart that cbastiBined'and held it 
pent up, was no less formidable 'thais'the rage itself : 
no lessibespeakihgtheyiolent^UKldang^idasoharacter 
Mif.the woonan wha^inaKie.ifl. .Biit'<it succeeded,. aad 
she asked, after a silence : '....:. 

><IshemarraedfV t 

" No, deary," said the mother. 
.^«« Going to,bc^ '*! • i -. 

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DOWBEYv AKO SOU aS9 

*^ Not that I know of, dieary. But hia master 
and frmd is married. Ohy we* may giye him joy.l 
We may give 'em all joy ! '' cried the old womaiH 
huggiiig^iierself with her lean arms in her exultation. 
<* Nothing bat joy to Hi will come of that marriage^ 
Mindmcl" 

The daughter looked at her 6h ap explanauon. 

<< But you are wet and tired; hungry and thirsty/' 
said the old woman, hobbling to the cupboard ; 
<<aDd there's little here» and little "-r-diving down into 
her pockety and jingling a tew b^Upeace on the table-* 
w littte hd-e. HaYe you any i^ney, Alicq, deary ? " 

The covetous, sharp, eiiget face, with which she 
asked tbe.questiiiHi and .kdked oa, as her ^aug^ter 
took out ^ her bosom the little gi& ahe had so 
lately.' received, told almost as much of the history 
of this pairetit aiftd child as the child herself had told 
in wonik^ 

<< Is thatiaK ? '' «aid the mother. 

** I have no more* I should not .have thb, but 
for charity/' , . 

"But for charity, ehy deary?" said the old 
woman» bendoo^ I greedily Over the table to look at 
the wooefp whkb she q^ared distrustful of h^r 
danghter^s still retaioMig in her hand, and ga^gon. 
" Humph ! six and aix is. twelve mi six reighteen 
'.,«..4i>«^we,mttti>:make the nio^:fOf it.. I%gp buy 
something to eatiailddcmk." '• ., ' 

With greater alacrity than might have been exr 
.peeled in one of her apptoanpe^W age^ and V^isery 
seemed tiK lisnre made her as' decrepit aa.ugly—rshe 
began to ooo^y her^ttembling h^nds io^^yingan old 
bonnet ion her hoid^ tind folding a uxu idiawl about 
herself: stilf eyeing the money • in. b9rdafU|^$erfs 
hand^ with the.same sharpi desire» . 

II. u 

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190 DOMBSY ANfD SON 

<< What joy is to come to Ufr of this matmgei 
mother^'' asked the daughter. <<You have not 
told roe that.'' 

<<The joy/' she repUed, attiring herself^ with 
fnmhlifig fingers, ** of no lov« at all, and orach pride 
and hate, my deary. The joy of confusioA^ and 
strife among 'em, proUd as they are, and of danger 
—Klanger^ Alice t " 

«« What danger?*' 

« / have seen what I h«i^ seen. / know: what I 
know ! '• chuckled the mbther« . ** Let some }ook 
to it* Let some be ttJMip their guard. My gal may 
keep good comply yet 1 '* 

Then, seeing ^t in the woad«Hng earneMness 
with which her daughter regarded herv her hand 
involuntarily* closed upon the money, the old woman 
made more speed to secure it, and' huitiediy added, 
<< but I'll go buy something ; I'll go buy sometfaing." 

As she stood wi^ her hatid stretcmd <Hit before 
her daughter^ her daughter, giandng again at the 
money, put it to her lips before parting with it* 

*' What, Ally ! Do ydu Vm k > " cfaudkkd the 
c^d woman. ** That's like me^-^Iinften'do* Oh, 
it's so good to us!" sq^jieeiiog Im* 4>wil 'tonnshed 
halfpence upto her bag of 9l throat, "«o §ood to us 
m everylhis^, but not coming in heaps ! " 

<< I kiss it, tooths," ssdd tbedmighter, « or I did 
then — I don't know that I' ^ever did before — ^for the 
giver'ssake." -^f 

"The grrer, eh, deary ? ^'retorted the old woman, 
whose dimmed eyes ^gkstened as idie took ii« «< Ay ! 
I'll kiss Itfeir the giver's «ake, too, wiieii the giver 
can make it go farther. But I'll go* spend*, deu-y. 
I'll he back directly." • » ' : 

<< You seem to say you kpow a great deal, mother," 

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DOMBEBV. AtfD SOV e^ 

said thc^ ilailgliter^ fbUowkig. her to the door widi her 
eyes. ** Yoa liaTe growra Tcry wine dace we {laitiKL'' 

<< Know 1 '^ croaked the old wQifun, cooiiiig back 
a step or two. *^I knov^ more 'than you think. I 
kiiow moie titan Ar thinks,, deaiy^ as I'll tell yo« by 
and by* I know M abont him." 

The daughter andledincredvkNiily. 

»l know of his bvother, Alice/' aaU the old 
woman, slretchii^ ont her neck with ^ le^r of 
malice ahsolalely irightful, ^ who might hav« h^ep 
wbere ym iHcrebeen-^or stealing money — and who 
Myim imthjhia.8i8ter9 oifier yoodery by^ the north toed 
out of Lofldoo*'' 1 .. / . ■■'■: , 

«Where>" — 

^<'By the aortii road Ant of London^degry. Yo« 
shall seethe hons^ if you like. It an't much to 
boast df^ gented as his own is. . No, mv no,*' cried 
thi iM woman shafcii^ hep head, ttod iaughsog ; for 
her daughter had started np^ ^ not 'now ; it's too 
hrn^fj; it^sbjrdie mikstooe^ where. the stones are 
heiqied |''^tp4«EiGrrow; deary, if it'a fine, and you are 
in the humour, i Butl'^ go spend?*—?—" , . . 

** Stop r*' and the xhmghter flung- herself ttpon 
her, wtdi her firmer pusion nging like a ire* 
«Tfae sister is a 6k>*&ced d^, with brown hakr^ 

Ti^ old nhiman, amazed and terrified, nodded 
her heoai. 

**1 see the shadow of him in her £kce i It's a 
red house standing by itself. Before the door tJiere 
is a small green porch.^ 

Again the old woman Kl6dded.o. ^ . /* 

« In -which I. sat to-day. Owe met hack the 
mo^." . : . 

«AKce! Deary!'' 

«* Give me back ^e mooey^or you'll t^hurt." . 

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a^t TOMBEy MiD'SON 

Sht forced it* from the old fironuin's hand as afae 
spoke, and utteriy indifferent toiler complaibings and 
entreattety thnfv on the garmeDta ahe Iiad takoi off, 
and bvrriedonv with headkmg tpeed. 

The mother fbUonted, l^ing after her aa ahe 
could, and expostulatiiig with no more eifebt upon her 
than upon the wind •and rain and dackneaa that encom- 
patsedthem. Obdurate and "fierce in her owiLpurpose, 
and indiflS^rtnt to aU besides,! the danghter defied:die 
weather and (lie dsBtafkce, aa jf she had known no 
travel or fatigue^ and made for the house where she 
bad been relieved. After some, quarter of imhour's 
walking, the old woman, spent and ote^of fanath, 
ventured to hold by her skirts ; but slie ventured no 
more, and tliej travdled on in. ailteoe thtou^ the 
wet and glo^ If : the mother nou^ < and then 
Uttered a 'word ^ complaint, die stifled it leather 
daughter should hreak^away frcan t her and kate her 
behind; and the daughter Waaxhmlfau 

It waa wiihin an hour ro^aoof^ midnight^ when 
they leftthe regular streets. behind them^ amd entered 
on the deeper gkxim of thiit ''neutral ground where 
the house Wks Aitudted.* The town lay in tHe (distance, 
huid and lowering; the blfakwiad howled orer die 
bpe» apace ; all-around wiss bkKsk,' wiU, desolate. 

<^ This is a fit place 'fot me ! '''iaaid the dai^hter, 
stopping to look hack. ** I thought so, when. I was 
here heforej to-day.*' 

<< AHce, my dwy," cried th^ modier^ pulling her 
gently by the skirt. « Alice T M 

" What now, mother f'^i « 
' ** DoA't give th^ money buck, rm darlfaig ; please 
don't. We can't afford it. We want siqiper, 
deary. Money is money, whoever gives it' Say 
what you' wSf, but keep the money.''* '• 

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DOMBSy ANB;SOIf ^93 

<«^ee> ^ereiL'' was aH thc> dangbter's annretw 
*<Thati8theiioiBeIii|eaii. Istfa^tit?" < 
' Tfae old woman iio4ded in the a/GrmatiYe ; and 
a. few. more. padea brouglbtthetn to the thrediokl. 
Tkem was the light of fire: aild candle int the room 
where Alice had tat to dry her clotiM8.$ and on her 
knodtihg at the door^ Jdm Garker appeared -^XMn 
thatfoottu ; . ■••J »l- .• /- i 

He was surprised to see such viutors aft. such aa 
howv and asked AJice what she wanted. 

<* L want: your .sistec,^' shs taid. • ^f T!he woman 
wIk» gaiie me money to-day.^V f i 

lAttlhe sound. of her k^aned troicc^ Harriet cam^ 
one. •• ■ ' -'t , t : "/• '\ :>ii .• ',. • • .. • 

•* Oh 1 " said Alito ., ** You arc here ! Dayoa 
remember me i'fi.' 7.:.... 

<* Yesy" she.aasifncrDdi^woodenpg« i: jr 

Tfae;face :tfaat hid :hiiihbled.hsblf//befefre. her, 
looked 00 her. nowvrwith such invinciUe hati^ed and 
defiance ^ laad the hand that had gkaiif rtonched her 
arm# hraa.ikoched with iBUch a show of civfl^ purpose^ 
as if it would gladly strbnglevhor ; that she. flriei^ 
close to her brother for protection. 
. <« Hiat 1 4oidd speakk with you, aadnibt knw ^ou! 
That I aodld;'Com€^.iKar.;yoiij and. not'feel /what 
blood was mariingj in.^^ur rvttins^by the dhgling of 
my own h" . said Alice^. with a. meaacingges^e. 

« What do you mean ? What have I'done 3 " 
..^I))on«4^yetiutitd tfaefadicr.> «*.Yoa haveisat 
me '-byiyouF -fire;! iyfyn- hare giveia merfiaod and 
money ';:.yau .have bestowed . your compkssion oh 
me ? ' ¥o» ! .whose name Ispit upon i^' n 

:The!iol4 w^maa, with.' a malevolence! that made 
her Bglia!e» ^te> awful, shook her witheced hand 
at the hrothier aid' isisger in iconfitmation of hcc 

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zf4 DOKBfiV AND ^OH 

xiavghtery but 'plucked ha! by ^ skirts agaioyiieTer- 
theless, impEoring-lier to keep the moii^. 
' *^li I dropped a tear upon your haxui^ may it 
wither it upi If I- spoJLea gentle word ia-jroor 
liearingt may 'it deafen • you! If I touched ydu 
with my Hpi , may ther'tonch (bepoiMm to you ! A 
curse vfoa this xobf that gavQ me shelter \ ..Setcow 
and shame upon your head ! Ruin upon all belong- 
ing to you ! ' ' ' > ' 

As ^e said tbewords/she threw themoney ^Mra 
upon the ground^ and spiirni^ it: with her foot. ' 

«<I tread it in the duttsi wonkhi'ttake itif it 
paved my wtay to HeaTcsi I woiUd the hieeding 
foot that brought me here to-day, had rotted ^, 
before St led me to your hottsei;-^ 

Harriet, pale and tremblmg, restraineddier brother, 
and suffered her to go oovaintecmpted. • 

^ It was weli thalt I should, be pitied and forgiven 
by you, or any one of your namey in the first hour 
of tny return 1 It was well that'ymt should act the 
kmd good lady to mel I'll thank you when I die ; 
FU pray fivyou, and aU yoi§r race^ you may be 
sure!" o 

Wuk a fiette adion of her hand, ias if she 
spiinkled hatined oq the .gromd, and w&di it devoted 
those who were standing there to deMmction, she 
looked upiince:at thsiUabL sky, land strode out into 
the wfld night. »: '• ii 

' Themodier, wh6 faid pinckni at her skiFls agam 
and again in vain, and had eyed the moiMy^ lying on 
die threshold with an absarbnig greed .tfaat;8e«ned 
to concentrate her faculties upon ^ic, 'wouid have 
prowled abofut, until. the house was^ciarkv and dien 
groped iff the mire on the tfaanoeof icpoisessing 
herself of it. But the dai^hter drewher away, and 

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the^r act filithy straight* op their i^torn to their 
dwelimg ^. th^ old woman wfafmp^iiiig and bemoaar 
ing thdr Iom upon the road^ aad fretjbUy bewailingy 
as openly aa she dared, th^ nodiitifid cootjteict of her 
handsome girl in depriving her of a supper, oa th^ 
jery first Bight, of tiu^ir. te-unioQ; 

(SkqiperksB ta bed she went, savii^ for a fiew 
ooarse firagments ; and those she sat mumbling aad 
munekbg «Ye« a sctapof fir^i loQg after h^ unduti- 
Mfdaoghttc lay asleep. . 

Were 'this miserahle mothery apd thia miserable 
daaghrfay. oni^ the; redaetioii ^;their lowest grad^ 
of certain social vices sometimes prevaUiog- higher 
up? In tht» fpuad woild df many circles within 
c^cle% do we make a weary jo^nxty froim the hig)i 
gprade to the low, to find at last that they lie close 
together, that the twaextremeff'to9cl^ fmdthat our 
JDomeyfsend is but our starti^gp-pjace ? Allowing 
for gteat 'ditfercsKie.of stuff and textiure,f was the 
pafttera.of. this iwoof- repeated anK>ng. .gentle blood 
ataU^ . 

Say, Edith X)ombey ! And Cleopatra^ best of 
mothers, let us have, your testimony 1 



Chapter XXXV 



THK HAPPT PAI& 



THE dark ' blot op the street is gone. Mr. 
* Dombey '9 mansion, if it be a gap among the 
other houses any loi^r, is only so because it is not 
i^ be Tied with lA k$ brightness, and haughtily casu 

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20 DowBey Mm^'SOH 

them dflP. The Mying fo, that home it honie^ be it 
nerer 16 homely, if it hoki' good to the opponte 
contingency, and home it home^ be h never so 
stalely, what an altar f& die hOtiiriiold godt i« laised 
tip here 1 

Lights are sparkling in the windowa this efenui^ 
and the ruddy glow of fires is warm and bright «pon 
the hangings and soft carpets, and the idioner waits 
to be servedi and die dinner^^t^ble is handaomdy set 
forth, though only for four persons^ and the side* 
board is cumbrous with plate. It is the first tiine 
that the house has been ari'aDged for occupation 
«ince its hite changesv and the^appy pair are looked 
fbr every mittntei 

Only second to die wedding momitig/ in the 
interent and ex}^&etatio& it en^nders among the 
household, is this evening of the conung home. 
Mrs. Perdi is in die kitdien taking tea; and has 
nikde the tour of the esuUishmebt, and priced the 
silks and damasks by the yard, and exiuiuflted every 
hit^rjection in the dii^nary and out of it ^expressive 
of admiration and wonder. The upholsterer s ibre- 
'man, who has left his hat, vrith a' pocket-handker- 
chief in it, both'smetling atroi^ly of Jvamish, 'Under 
a chair in the hall, lurks about the house, gazing 
upwards at the cornices, and downward at the carpets, 
and occasionally, in a silent transport of enjoyment, 
taking a rule out of his pocket, and skirroishingly 
measuring expensi^^bbjects^ with unntterahle feelings. 
Cook is in high spirits, and says give ttr a place 
where there's plenty of company (as she'll bet yoa 
sijfpence there will be now), for>.jBhi|iXS of H Hwy 
disposition, and she always was frokn a chil4» andihe 
don't mind, who knoivs it j whttfft aentiQient dicits 
from die hreaist of Mrs. Perch i re^oaiv^.aiwnv 

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DOMBETANDSOH 297 

of svppMt and' amx'obatioiL All the homemaid 
hopes 18, happiness for 'em— 4M]tittamage is a lottery, 
and the niot<e she thiidts about ifj the fnore she^feois 
the independence and the salety of a. single, liie^ 
Mr. Towlifison is saturmne and f^m, and says that '« 
his^ojni^oiitdo^ and give him' War beside^ aoidown 
with the Fretach-^-^or iliis yonag man has a general 
lApressioD that tvtty fortSgtiet ir a FrencUnan, and 
must be by the laws of nature. 

At eadi ne^soxtnd of whetla, they all stopi what- 
ever' they are sayii^, and listen ; and more diait once 
there is a#generai starting up and 'a cry of. ** Hefc 
they are V** Bitt here they ve ndt yet ; and cook 
be^^s to tabum over the dinner, which has been 'put 
back • twice, and ^fe uphofoterer's faremm stiU goc6 
orking about the ro<>ms^ widtsciorbed' in his blissful 
reverie I ? ; 

Florence k ready to receive her father and her netr 
muiuna. Whether the em^tioits that are Uirobbii^ 
in her beesat c^ginate ih Measure or inrpain^ she hardfy 
knot^^i Buttheflittter^gbeartseiidv^aMided'cphnirto 
her cheeks, «nd brightness t« her eyes; and t^eysay 
down stairs, drawing their heads togethef-^^^f they 
alwtkys speak softly when : diey speak of hcr-i-^how 
beautiful' 'Miss Inference k>ok6 to-nig|it^ and what a 
sw^yd^g lady she hd^ grown; poor dear! A pause 
succeeds $ dnd ^len cdok, fcditag, as piesident* that 
her^ientimeiitAare%^aifed for^ wonders whether-r-and 
there stopis. -' 3?he boasematd wooden, ttio, and 40 
does Mrsi. V%fi^i who has the happy social iacuhy 
of always wondering wheA other people wonder, withf- 
out' being it all particular what she wodders, atv. : Mr. 
Towliason; who now dories an opportunhy «f 
bringing'^deftfn the spkits of the ladies to his on/in 
level, says'^wkit and see : he wishes some pc^le 

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29t SCHIBEYp Am SON 

w«fe well out of tins. Cbok lead* a aagh tho^ and 
a nmrmnr of *^A^) it's a strange worid^ — ^it is 
ndflcd ! '- and whenit^as goneroiiiad the uUe^ adds 
pcnuasively^ ''but Mias Fiorence can't i^ell be the 
worse i(x any.chaQgcw ToiBb'' I4f» ^Towlinsfoa'a 
rejomdcr, f&tpmst vHUkMghlM ^le/u^g, ia ** Oh, 
can't she ^ongh 1 " and aeilabk that a f^^^ man cao 
karceijbe mort fcopbetky or iiBpF9ve oppo that^iie 
holds his peace. .; : < 

Mrs.: SkewtofH* priced lo gce«fe iiec.. darling 
daughter and dear ^tmHOrinw wkh open ^^9% is 
appropriafeely attired for that, purpope in a very youth- 
m coaomief with short sleeves.' i^f present, how- 
eter^ her i^ chanoa are Uoomiog in the.shadt^ o^ 
her own apartments^ whencje she has not ^perged 
since she- took possessioB oCUMfn a fe^ houi;s ago^ 
and where she is fast growing fretfidy on account of 
the postponement of; dinner^ j Th^ maid, who oaght 
to be a skeleton^ bat.ir«k truth a bnxom. damse), is, 
OQ the other hand, in a mf^stt amiable states: con* 
^deringiKr quaittrly} stipe9<l much s^fer thap^ere* 
toforey'and foreaeeing' »:gr«at imprQi;eine|it.in her 
board akidlodgi]^* - 

Where are the happy paii?^ ior whoin this brave 
home is watfaig i Uo steam, tide, win4y«n4 horses^ 
all abate their ^peq4» ta Jinpr ol> such b^piness? 
Doea the swarm ot k^ves and ^g/m^^ hovering. about 
them retard their pro^^as by its pumilp^ers ? . Are there 
«o many flowers in their ha^y pa^ th^ they.can 
scarcdy move along, without enta^^^^t. m thom- 
less'rotte^ and sweeten briari 

They are here at last 1 Th^^ nQise of wheels is 
lieard, grows louder, anda carrj^ige.drivtes up to the 
door J A thundering knock from '.the obnoxious 
foreigner antid^tea the rush of Mr.. Towlinson and 

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DOHBET. AKD SOU 499 

party €0 open it; and Mr. Donbey tad hit bride 
dight, dud walk in ann and ann. 

* My sweetest Edith 1 '' aiei ao agHatfxl voice 
upon the 'stains ^My deanst: Dombey! " and 
the short slee?es wteatii themsdies abont the happy 
co^e in torn, and embcaee them. 

Florence bad come'dowa to the hall too, bm did 
not advMiee : reserving hei^tiniid welcome until these- 
nearer and dearer transports should subsidei ' But the 
eyes of Edith sooght her ott».npon the thnshold ; 
and disniissillg h^ sensitii« parent with a slight kiss 
on the cheieky she harried on io Fkrence and 
embraced her. 

««HoW doyoa do, Fkrenced '^ aakl Mr. Dombey, 
puctin^'Ont his hand* 

Ab Florence, trtffiUing, xaised it to her Iqis^ she 
met his glance* The'lobk was cold and distant 
enough, but it stirted^her heart to think that she 
obserred in itsomething more ofinlerest dian he had 
ever shown hefctf«^» It even expressed a kind of 
fsHflt sur^se/and not a disagreeabfesucpiisey at sight 
of her. She dared not raise her eyes to lu^ any 
more ; but ^ feh that he looked at faboonce again, 
and notletefkvonraUy. Oh what a thrill of joy shot 
tbrongh her^- awakened' by even this intangible :aad 
baseless confintiadmi of^ her hope that she would learn 
to win him, through her new and beanttfol mamma ! 
'^ Yon will iM^ be long dressii^ M^s^.Domhby, I 
presdme ? '^ ttiid Mr. Doinbeyl 

«* I .diali b^ ready immediatdy." 

<*Let them send up dinner in a quarter of an 
hour.*' . > . 

With that Mri. Dombey stalked away to his: own 
dresting-imMb,' and Mrs. Dombey went up »taiff 
to hers. Mrs. Skewton and Florence repaired to 

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}<K> OOMBEY AMD 90N 

the drawing-rooiD, wheie that cxceUent motfacr c«ii- 
ddered it incumbent' on her to shed a £iew irrej^es- 
sible tearty topposed to be ^^rced from her by her 
daoghtcr^f felicky ; and which die was still dqFmg, 
Tery gingerly, with a laoed comer o£her pocket-hand- 
kerchief, when her 80iv«in4aw appeared, i. 

>< And. how, mj dearest. Dombey, did you fiod 
that delightiiilktt of diaef, Fsris? ''. ilie a^ked, sub- 
dttuig her emotioii* 

<« It was cold,'' vpluMd Mr. DombejiU 

** Gay as ever," aid Mrs. SbrartDO, <« of eoittse." 

«*Notparticiihirlyy I thoi^ it diiU,'V.8sud Mr* 
Dombey. ■ : '--j 

• •< Fie, ray deasnt Dombey !'' archly; ^dutli" 

** It made that impression upon mc^ loa^iifBk? 
said Mr* Dorabey, with .gravepotiten^sBpe . ^ I bolieYe 
Mrs. Dombey £owd;it doll too. She . mentioaed 
once or twiceithat she thoi^t^it a»*" - 

u Why, yoa naag^ty girl ! " cried Mrs. Skewtoo, 
ralljnng her dear jdkMt who now. eatcredt <*^ what 
dreadfully heijeticai thingshi^e you boss .sayiipg abcMtt 

Paris?" 't .. ■ ^- ' '^ , 

' Edith raised hereyefarowswithfin air of wearinesss 
and passing the foidlBg-doors which ^ wiere -tbroii:ii 
open to diqih^ the sotte of iImubs jodl^ir.ncfw.aod 
handsome ^garmtare^ and barely. glaDeiilg fH. theaa, 9u 
she passed^ satdowh by Flozcace^ > i . . ^. 

** My dear Dombey,'? said Mxs, Skewtoqi. .^ how 
charmingly these people "hate fcacri^^out e^eryijdea 
that we hinted. Ttiey have :ma(te a pcrlect palace 
of the houses positively.". .. ,:i . ;.:^ . 

<<It is handsome," said Mr. Dombey, looking 
round. **I directed, that no expose :^o«ld be 
spared ;:and all dtat.moiiey could do, ba^^xieo^doQe, 
IbeUew." : ,,;. 

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OOMBBY AND SOU 3« 

^<Aiul ulSiat can tt not do» dear Dombeyf 
obnenrcd Cleopatra* 
> '<^It ia powerful^ Dadam^" aaid Mr. Bombey. 

He looked in bis aolemn way towards 'his wife, 
but not a- woid 8»d she. 

'*! hope, Mrs. Dombey/' addrcowBg her after a 
inoreedtf^ «flencey hvitb eapeciid dittnctnestf; <«ihat 
these idtfsratiDna meet )wi^.yoar appraral? V '- 

«< Thcjr tare aa. handsome at they can be^" she 
returned^ with haughty carelesmess. ^They shonld 
be b6^ ofconrK. Ami I flvppoae theyare." 

i\n exprasaiott: of adocn was habitual to'tbeprmid 
face, and seemed inaepaiable irooa it; bat .the 
CQotem|it with which it receiYed any^ippeal to adAdra- 
tbn^ respect, or qonsidn»tia& on the ground ioi his 
lidtts, no matter how sli^t 4Hr ordinary in itself waa 
a new and' dJiffeceat expression^ unequalkd in intensity 
by Any othiet of which it wia capaUcw Whether 
Mr* Dombey, wraf^ped Iq his own greatness^ was at 
all aware of thn»i6r no, there had not been wsntbg 
opportunities abtodyf for his complete enli^ilenment; 
and at that moment it might. h«fe been effected by 
the otie gbmce; of th&cUrk eye^at lighted .<in hin^ 
after it had rapidly dmd soomfuUy surveyed the theme 
f^hia.adi&gloqfiGation; Jieoiighthayeteadintha|t 
one glance that nothing that hia w^akhcfiould do, 
thoi^h it^mretincreasnl. ten^lhouaaEDd fold^.€ould 
winrhim fonits oWn.isake,^.oile^ jook- of softened 
recognition £romt6erdefiant woman Jinked to him»^ 
arrayed, ^thlier whole sottls^ainstbioL . Hemi^ 
have, read in 4iat one ^anoe tlvit even for its. sordid 
and mercenary" influence upon herselfv she spumed ib^ 
whitei sbe claimed fits utmosfe power aa^htsr rights bet 
bargain-r-TMrihe basetand worthless r^compente for 
wh£^h she had ,beG<>meihis: wife. . He m^t have 

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9ca BOMBWyt A1CD;80V 

read in it that, ever- hariog her own bead :fer -die 
lightning of her own contempt and .pride to soike, 
the most iiiaoceiit attosion to die power of his riches 
de^adcd her anew^ sank her deeper m her. own 
respect, and made the blight and waste withm her, 
mor^ completed . 

.But diiuier was annonnoed, aiid.Mr« Dombey led 
down Cleopatra; EditH and hh daughter billowing. 
Sii^eeping past die gold and' stiier demonstcadon on 
the sideboard ^8 if itr were heaped-i^ dilt, and dciga- 
ing to beistow Aolook upon die deganoies aroond her, 
she took her place athiffbaavd^ tbe first tan^ and 
sat, Hke a.statae, at theifsaat. 

Mr. Dombe^s faeingrra good deal in the atatae 
way hhnself, wtu tweil enough pleased -to see bis 
bandMae wife ifmnoveaUe and prood and vaid. 
Her deportment besogahrayB el^jpait and gracdnl, 
this as a geaei^ behavtoor was agreeabfe and coo« 
genial to him. Presiding^ dieM^e,. widi' i&i» accos- 
tomed d^nity, and not at all reflectii^ iOQ hia wife 
by any waraith or bibni^ of bis own, be performed 
his diare of tbe hooaors of the taUe with M^eool sads- 
£u:don; and the installation dinuer, diou|^ not 
Tegarded down stairs as a>^great Iniccess^ or tery 
promislag beginning, passed oiFv above^ ia a ^dfioient^ 
IMditb, genteel, and frosty maaaarr 
' Soon after iesy: Mrs. SkewtonyWlioaiiretted to be 
<pnte «overcome and'<wora out by ber-^niotiMis ef 
bai^ptness, ariiing intthe contempiatimi of her ^dear 
oh|id> noited to the man of her^ han't, but who, tbeie 
is reasoal to^ somoss, found ^diis family party smne- 
wMsrt doll^ as we 5iiawned for one hour continin^ 
bdiiad her fiin, redved to bed. (Bdidii also^ s^ciMiy 
wkhdrew and can^sback no moNu Tfans^ k hap- 
pened diat Fkrencefwho had 'bectti ap ^ staffs t6bave 

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DOilWV AND SON 90% 

some comtersi^tSoD with X>iogelie9, retumitig to -the 
drawii)g-4x>oin with her little work-haskety foimd bo 
one there but her father^ who was^ walking to and 
kof m dfeary nsagniiicence. 

^ I beg yotH- pardon. Shall I go away, papa f *^ 
said Florence £iintly, hesitating ait ^ledoor. 

**Hoi/* ^reiumed Mn • Dombey, looking round 
over his shoulder; ''you can come and go here, 
Florence^ a»:yoa ^ase; Thit is not my private 
room.'' . ,. 

Florence entered, and' ^M down at a distant little 
table with her work: finding herself lor €he first 
time in her life— for the very first Uiiiie within her 
radiDory from hdr infaney to that hour — alone with 
her father, as hi? compai^ofi. • She^ his natoral com- 
panion^ his only child, who in 'h<^ lonely life iind 
gmf had. know^n the aaffermg bf a breaking h^art ; 
who, in her pejected love, had nei^ breathed his 
nanie to Obd at night, hui with a teaHbl blessing, 
heamr't>d hiiii thUn a curse; who had prayed to 
die yming, so lshe ifiight only d$e in his arn^s; who 
had, all tht«dugh, rep^' the agony oi «Kght and 
coldnfesa^ilnd diriike, witly patient unexacting loye,ex(^ 
cuakigliim, atlti pleading for him, IRce hte be^ angelf 

She trtmbldd, and her eyes w^fjb 4im.^ His 
figure teemed to grow in- height and bulk %elbre her 
as he paoed liie room:' niyw it we$ all lite^ed and 
indiatinct; now dear agam, and plain; and now she 
aeeiiMd to tiank that this hud happened, just the 
same, a multieade of yekcs ago. • She yearned 
towards him^ * and* yet rfirank from- his approach. 
UsBoatorat emotiob :iA a (*hik(, mnocent of wrong 1 
Unliatufal the hand that' had directed the sharp 
plough^^ whieh fuiTowed up her gentle nature for the 
sow^ of -its si^sfi 

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So# DOMBEY AND BOH 

fieot inon iiot.dittre8aiqg dr offindbg him hj bet 
distc^iss, Floieiice ooDtroUed Iterselft asd aat quietly 
at her work* .. After a jew more mma aero^a and 
across the room, he left offpad^g it; aad with* 
drawing into a •h4d)»wy corner at «ome distance, 
where th^re ww 0n easy €hair> (QOTered his head 
with . a handkerchief, and compooed iiiroself to 
sleep. 

. 1% was enough for Florence to sit there watching 
him ; turning her eyes towards his chair from time 
tfi tim^4 watpl^g him with her thoughts, when her 
&ce vfas iat«it upon her • work j and sorrowfully 
glad to think thajt.he ^miU- sleep, while she was 
theire, and that- he waa not made restless by her 
strange a^ lodig-forhidden presence. 

.What would have been. Vr thoughts if she had 
known that he was : steadily riesgMdii^ her ; that &e 
veil i^on hifi ^K^c^.by tLCci4f0t Or, by design, was «» 
adjusted that his sight wa$ freehand, that it never 
wandered from her face an instanU That when she 
{poked towards hiaoi^ in thc^ obscure :dark comer, 
her speakipg eyes, more earn^estand pathetic in thdr 
yoiceliess speech than all ,the <^uxb of all the world, 
and impeachup^ him more nearly in their mute 
address, met his, and. did not know iu That when 
she bent her head agmn o^ef her work, hie4rew his 
breath more easily, but ^i^ the, same attention looked 
upon, her flstill-^upon her whit^ bliOW «h1 heii:£Uling 
hair,.apd busy hands ;.,a9d o^ce altraoted* Memed 
tp have no power to turn his eyeaawlyJ 

Afd wWi were :h^ .tboughip meanwhite ? With 
what emotions, did he prg^opg the #tte|itive .gaze 
covertly directed on hit unknown daught^i >: Was 
there reproach to , him in the quiet; %ttte/ and the 
mild eyes > Had he begun to teel hec. disregarded 

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4)iDMB&y AND SON joj 

claims, and did they ibaGh him h6me at haty and 
waken him to some fence of his oruel injustice? 

There are yielding moikients in the Hves of the 
sternest-tafid harshest.meny though such men often 
keep their secret welJ. The sight of her in her 
beauty^ almost chained into a woman without his 
knowledge, may hanm struck out some such moments 
eTen in his life of prides Some pasnng thoujght 
that he had }iad a happy liome within his reach^- 
had had a household spicit bending at.hia feet — ^had 
overlooked it in his stiff-necked suUen arrogancei 
and wandered awiiy and k»8t himself^ may have 
engendiet'ed' them*' Sdme 8iiii|)le> eloquence dis- 
tinctly iiCBrd^ though' only! uttered in her eyes, 
unconsciouB -ibat^ he read them, as ** By thedeath* 
beds/ l\ have • tended, by the childhood I have 
suffered, by' our meeting in this dreary house at 
midaight, by the cry iK(rung from me. in the anguish 
of my heart, oh, father, turn to me and^eek a refuge 
in my love before it is ibo late I " may- have arrested 
them. Meaner) and lowet thoughts, as that his dead 
boy was now snpecseded by new ties, and* he coukl 
forgive the having been supplanted 'in his affection, 
may have occasioned them. - The mete association 
of her bs antemanient^ with all the oi^ament and 
pomp about him, may have been sufficient. But as 
he looked, hd^softeded to her, more and nibre. : As 
he looked^ she became' Uended with the child he 
had "loved, .and- he Vnmld hardly separate the two. 
As he looked, he saw her for an instant by a clearer 
and a brighter light, not bending over that'dttld's 
pillow (38 his rival— rttiolkstrous thought^-4>ut as the 
spirit of his home, and in the action tending himself 
no less, as he sat once more with his bowed-*down 
head upon his hand at the foot 6 f the little, bed. 

II. X 

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5o6 OmBSY AHO 9rr% 

He hk mdined to ipeak to be ..tc c^'^l Kif w um 
The words ** Fioreiice^ come In u \J- vereriaiigio 
his fip8— bnt -alowly and with ouubilt^y thejr fere 
so very strange*— when they were cheeked al 
stifled by a foMtep on the stair* 

It was his wife's. She had exchanged krdinBcr 
dress for a loose robe, and nnbMmd her hair, vbB 
fell fireely abo«t her neck. B«t this was not tlit 
change in her tliat staitlod him. 
' <« Florence, dear/' she said, **l have been looH 
ibr yos everywhere." <•. 

As she sat down fay die side of Florence, ^ 
•stooped and kissed her hand. He hardly bet lot 
.wife. ^She was ao changed. It was. (not oKRiy 
that h^' smile was new to hni'^-^faaagk thsthebd 
■ever seen ; but her aiamiery 4he tone of her voioe, 
the light of her eyes, die interest, and codfidesce, 
and .winning wish to please, expressed, in alMffi 
was not Edith. < 

<*Sofdy, dear maii^ma. F:^ is asleep." 

It was E^foh now. - 6he looked towards the 
comer where he was, and he knew that ha d 
manner very welL 

^ I sou-cely thought yon ooold be faer^ Florepce. 

A^ain, how altered, and how sofbened, io * 
instant ! 

**1 left hen early," pursued Edith, «parpoi!elj 
to sit up stars *aad talk witbryon. But, ^ ^ 
your room, I[ibund my inrd was Qoynhf^} 
hate hoea waidi^ there ever since, ducting ^ 
rdtiirn* ••■'•':, 

If lit had been a bird, indeed, she codd not hsn 
takes it more tenderly and gently to her fareast^tfafl 
she did Florence. 

**Gome,dcarl"i • 

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«»IBEY AND SOU 307 

'^Papa will notexpecc to find me^ I MippoM, 
when Ik wakea " hesitated Florence* 

"Do von SuSk Ke will, Florence^' wid Edith, 
looking fntt upon ker. 

Florence drooped her head, and rose, aftd pat up 
her work-basket Edith <irew her kand through 
her arm, and they went out of the room like sisters. 
Her very step was different and neW to him, Mr. 
Dombey thou^t, as his >eye8 followed her to the 
door. 

He sat in his shadowy Cromer so long, that the 
duireh ckicks struck the hdvr three times before he 
moved that nig^t. All that while his face was still 
joi^nt vpon tfaei^p^t where Florence hud been seated. 
The room getw dutkdt^ as the candles waned and 
weAt out;( but a darkness gathered on his face, 
exceiKiing any that the night «oukl cast, and rested 
therie* t , • 

Florence aad Edith, seated be^e the fire in ^ 
remote rcom< where little Paul had died, talked 
together for a long time. Diogenes^ who was of 
the partyviiad at first object^ to the admission H>f 
Edhh, aiid, even ift def^tfice to lii« mistress's wish^ 
had only permitted it under growling proteM. Bui, 
emerging by little and*' little from the antje^room, 
whither he had retired in dudgeon, he soon appeared 
to comprehend, that with the mostlUlliable Intentions 
he had made one of thos^ iliistoakes %hich will 
occasiowilly arise in the beslKPegultfted dogs' minds ; 
as a fHrndiy apblbgy for whieh he stuck hidsiself up 
on end between «He two, in a'fery hot place in iront 
of the fire,' and sat panting^t itV with his totlgcie out, 
and a mbst' imbecile expression pf countenakice, 
hsDeimig to the conversation. > 

It turned/ ^r«t, <m Florence's book-s md 

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joS DOISBEY AND Smr 

favourite pursuits, and oa the maimer in which she 
had beguiled the interral since the marriage. The 
last thcBie opened up to her a subject which lay 
▼ery near her heart, and she sad, with the tears 
starting $o her eyes : 

** Oh,' mamma! I have had a great sorrow since 
that day." 

«< You a great sorrow, Florenccl" 

"Yes. Poor Walter is drowned." 

Florence spread her hands before her face, and 
wept with all her heart. Many as were the «ecret 
tears wlUch Walter's fate had cost her, they flowed 
yet, when she thoioght or Bpdke of him^ 

«« But tell mei , dear,'^ ^id £did>f toothing ;ker. 
"Who was Walter? What wai he to you ? " 

" He was my brother, miunma. Aftec dear Paul 
died, we said we would be brother and sister. I 
had known him a long time — ^from a little child. 
He knew Paul, who liked him very miftch; Paul ibid, 
aUnost at the last, *Take care of Walter^ <iear papa ! 
I was fopd,. of him ! ' ; Walter had been brought in 
to see him, and was there theoK-^in this room.'* 

"Alid:4E</ he. take care of Walter?" inqunred 
Edith, sternly. 

" Papa ? He appointed him to go ^o$ui. He 
was drQwned in shipwreck on his ' voyage/' iaaid 
Florence, sobbiijg.'. .^ ^ ■ 

«< Does he know, that .he is dead ? " asked Edidi. 

" I cannon > tell, inanuna. I have no nmns of 
knowiog. ' Pear manwna! " cried Fiorence, clinging 
to her. as for help, amd biding lier face upon her 

bosom, " I knoW'^s^t you i«ve seen-- ** 

. ** Stay! . Stopy Florence." Edith turned so 
pale, and spoke so earnestly, that Florence did not 
tieed her restcainiiig haixi :upon her Ups. .« Tell me 

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DOICBEY ARD SDK 309 

all about Walter first ; let me anderBtand this history 
all' through/' 

Florence rekited it^ and ererything belonging to 
ity even doWn to the friendship oF Mr* 'Toots, of 
whom she could hardly speak in her distress without 
a tearful smile, although she was deeply grateful to 
him. When die had conchided her accomt, to the 
whole of which Edith, holdiag har hand, listened 
with close attention, and when a silence had 'suc- 
ceeded, Edith said : 

^Whatkitthat you knowl have s^en, Florence?'' 

^ That I am- not,'- said Florence^ with the same 
mvie appeal, and the same qiock concealment of her 
£ice as before^ *«that t am not a fiivoorite child, 
mammsu I never hare beciw I have never known 
how to be* I have missed the way, and had no one 
to show it to me* Oh, let mt learn fitmi you how 
to become dearer to papa. Teach me ! you, whd 
can BO well I " and clinging closer to her^ with some 
broken" fervent words of gratitude and' endearment, 
Florence, relieved of her sad secret, wepit long, but 
not as 'painfyiy as of ywe, within the encircling 
arms of her ne%^ mother. 

Pale even to her Kps^and with a face that sti'ove 
for composnre until Its- proud beauty was as fixed as 
death, Edith looked down upon the weeping girl, 
and once kissed her. Then gradually diseiigaging 
herself, and putting Flofecic^ away, she said, stately 
and quiet, as a marble- flnage, ^nd in a voice that 
deepened a* 1^ spoktf, but had no other token of 
emotion iiik: • - - 

** Florence^ 'you do not know me ! Heaven 
forbid that you should le^m fi^om me ! " 

«< Not' leoni from you ? " repeated Florence^' in 
surprise. 

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3K» 9<HiBesr ANO 9011 

<^^That I should teach yOu* h^w to love, or be 
lovedy Heaven forbid ! " said Edith. <* If yoa could 
teach roe, d»at were better ; byt it ia too late. You 
are dear > to me^ Flo^etice. , I did not tkisk that 
anythiog coidd ever be m> de^r to «ie, as yoa are in 
this little time." 

She saw- that Florence woaM have dfok/eti here, 
80. checked her with her himd and went on.< 

**l Mfill be. your true friend always. 'I will 
cherish you, as much, if not as well as any tot in 
this worJU could* Yoa «iay trust in me^~I know 
it and I si^ Jt^ dear->-Axrkh the whole 'confidence 
even of your pure heart. Thereare hosu of wooaea 
whom he aiigbt have married, better and truer in all 
other respects than I am, Florence; but there is 
aot one who^ could «^nie here, his wif^^ whose 
heart could beat with greatii^r truth to you Uiaa mine 
does." ... 

** I know it, dear mamma ! ** cr^ed Florence. 
" From tl^t first most happy day I hvire kaoum it" 

^ Most haj^y day ! " Edith seemied to repeat 
the words ib^vohintarUy, and went on. f^ Though 
the merit is not mine, for I thought Mttle of you 
until I saw you, let theund^rved reward be mine 
in your tru«t and love. ■ Aai in thia-^-in this, 
Florence ; on the first night of my takiiig up my 
abode here ; I am led oa as it is best I should be, 
to say it for the first and last, lame.'' 

Florence, without knowing why^ felt almost 
afraid to hear her proceed^ but. kept hi^ eyeaimted 
on the beautiful face so fixed upon her owm 

« Never seek to find in me^" aaid Edttb, laying 
her hand upon her breast, <<lvhat is not hat, 
Nevj» if you, can help it, Floremre, faU, off from me 
because it is not here. Litde by little yott will 



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DMIBET.AKD SON }it 



kifDw me tetter, mi the dme will coioew^en yoa 
will knov me, at I know m^velf. Tken, be a« 
lenient to me acyou can, and do not turn to bitter- 
nese the oilly aweec remembrance I shall have." 

The teafa Miat were viable in her eyes as sbe 
kept them fixcd^ on: Florence^ showed that the 
composed face waa but as a. .handsome madL; but 
^e prescftml it, and oondnoed : 

** I AMfe seen what youtsay, and know how true 
it fStf But believe me — you w^ soon, if yon cannot 
now — ^there is no one on this eafth less qnaiified to 
set' it right or help ym^ Florence, than I. Never 
aak'tee Why, ot wpoak to me about it or of, my 
husband, more;' • There ahould be, so finr, a division^ 
and a sitettc^ between'ostwo, like the grave itself.^* 

She <at for some time silsnt ; Florence scarcely 
venturing to breathe meanwhile^' as dim and im* 
perfect shadows of the truths 'and ail its daily 
c(msequences,diased each other through her terrified, 
yet' incpeddottsr imagination. • Almost as soon as she 
had ceased to speak, Edithf's face began to subside 
from Its' set composure to that quieter and more 
relenting aspt^ct, whicb it usually wore when she 
and Florence were alone -together. She shaded it, 
after diis change, with her hands ; and when she 
arose, and with to affectieiiate embrace bade Florence 
good night, weiot quiekly, and without looking round. 

But when Florence was in bed, and the room was 
dark ^cept for the glow of the fi^e, Edith returned, 
and tiayiiig that she coM. not sleepy and that hev 
dressing-room was hmely, drew a chair upon the 
hearth, and watcihed dit ambers as they died away* 
Florence watched them toa from her bed, until 
they, and the noble figure before them, crowned 
^ith i^ flowing hair, and in its thooghtlul eyed 

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3ti SOHBEY AND S<M 

reflecdiig back, their l^t, became coofiued and 
indistiDcty and finally were lost in dumber. . 

In her sleep, however^ Florence cogld not lose an 
undefined impression of what, kad so recently passed. 
It formed the subject of her dfeaml^ and haunted 
her ; now in one shape, now! in another ; but always 
oppressiirely ; aixi with a sen«& of fel^r.. She 
dreamed of seeking her &ther:in wildemesse^ of 
following his track up fearful heights, and down 
into deep mines, and caTerns; of beiog charged with 
something that would release • him fi*om extraordinary 
sdfering— *she . knew not what, or why — ^yet oever 
being able to attain the goal an<i; set. him free. 
Then she saw him dead» Upon that very bed, and in 
£hat very room, and knew that he ,h«Ki neyer loved 
htr to the last, and fell upon hiii cold breast, passion- 
ately Sveeping. Thtfl a prospect open^, and- a 
river fowed; and a plaintive voice she knew, cried, 
<<It is running on, Floy! It has never stopped! 
You are moving . with it ! '' And she san^ hin^ at a 
distahce stretching out hji» arm^ towards her, while 
a figure such as Walter's used to b^. ptood near him, 
awfully serene «id still* la QY^y vision,, £dith came 
and' went, sometimes to her jo^y, som^mes to her 
sorrow, until , they were alone uppn tJ^^ brink of a 
dark grave, and Edith popi^tiQg dowq, she looked 
and saw— rwhat Irr-apother £4ilh lyijAgo^ the bottom. 

Jn.the terror '.of Ibis. dr€^,;/ahe <;rie4 out and 
^Woke, she thoilght. A apft voice, seemed tp, whisper 
in her.^ar,^' Florence! dear. Florence;, it is xy^tlung 
but a .dieamil '* zn/i^ stretchiog out 1^ acmi^ she 
returned the caress of her jiewimsimma, who then went 
out at the door in the light of the grey morning. 
In a moment, Florence sat up wondering whether 
this had really taten ^Jacp; pr.ijpt j b^ she w^s Qply 

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DOHBEY AKD SON 313 

that k 11^8 grey morning indeed^ and that the 
lackened ashes of the fire were on the hearth, and 
hat she ivaS'S^one. ' 

So passed the n^ht on which the happy pair 
:anie home. 



Chapter XXXVI ., 



BOITSEWARMINa 



MANY auooeeding days passed id like manner | 
except, that there were nomeroos visitB re- 
ceived and paid, and that Mrs^Skewton hiild little 
leveea in her own apartments, at which Major 
Bagstock waaa frequent attendant, and that Flomice 
encooitered no second feok from her father, ahhougfa 
she saw hihi every day« ;Nor hod she «iudi com«> 
munication m words with hernew mamma, who waa 
imperiotia and prood to all the house hot her — 
Florence codd * not- but. ohsenre tfaat^^-and who» 
although she alwap. aent £or her or went to ficfr 
when, she • came hifune from Tisidng, • and wooki 
ahvays go inta her^room at night, before retiring to^ 
rest, howerer late the hour, and net er lost an oppor^ 
tunity of. being* with her, was often her ailent andr 
thougjitfal companion for a long time together. 

Flwence^ who had hoped for so iQuch fh>m this 
marriage, could not. help sometioKs comparing the 
bright house with, the feded dreary f^ce out o€ 
which it had. Briaen» and wbndeHng whto^ in any 
shapev h. would begin to he a home ; for that it was 
no home" theiiy for any one, though everything went 
on luxuriously and regularly* she had always a 

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SM DOM BBT laXD' SOU 

aecret mU&ymg* Mvay.juk hour of aoirowM re- 
flection by dby aad ntght^ and many a tear of 
blighted hope, Florence bestowed upoii the assurance 
kfx new mamma had ^en her 8QatroiigIy» diat there 
was no one on the earth more powerless thaohendf 
to teach her how to win her Other's heart. And 
soon Florence began to think — resolved to think, 
would be the truer phrase — that as no one knew so 
well, how hopeless of being subdued or changed her 
father's coldness to her was, so she liad given her 
this warning, and forlndden the subject, in very 
compassion. Unselfish here, as in her every act 
and fa&cy, Florence preferred ta bear the psA of 
this new wound, rather than encourage any feim 
forc^hadowings of the truth as it coocemed her 
father ; tender of . him^ even in her wandering 
dioughts. - As fer his home, afae hoped it would 
become a. better one, when i^ state of aovel^ and 
transition, should he over ; aad for hersri^ thought 
little and lamented less. 

If none of the new Bunily were pardcalarly at 
hoikie in private,, it was resoived that : Mrs. Dooobey 
at least should be at hmae ia puhlie, wkhoui dday. 
A aeries of. entertainmciita.in celebratioo of the kte 
nuptials, and in cultivation of aodetj^ were arranged, 
chiefly hy Mr. Dombey and Mfto Skewtcm; and it 
waa ^ttled that .the festtve.proceedinga diould com- 
mence by* A&8« Dombey's- being at home upon a 
certain evening, and by Mn asid Mrs. Donabey's 
requesting the hooour of the company of a great 
many incongruous picople to dinnei^ onr the aame day* 

Accordingly Mr. -Dombey produced' a list • of 
sundry easteni magnates who were to be hidden to 
this feast, on his behalf; to which Mrs. Skewtcxi, 
acting for her dearest child, who was haughtily 



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BOMBBV AND SOH )i^ 

rareless on the subject, subjoined » i rotte m Ust| 
^omprisiAg C^uia Feecttx* ootyet returned to Baden 
Badeoy greatly to the detriment ef his personal estate; 
uid a Yari^ of moths of various degrees ^ ages, 
who had» at Tarioys ttipes, fluttered ranod the ^ght 
of her fiiir daughter, or herselff wkhoiit any lasting 
in^^iry ^o their wiqgs^ Florence was enroiied aa a 
member of the di^mer^party^ by Edith's <k>ramaDd — 
elicited by a momenl'a d^ubt and hesitation on the 
part of Mrs. SkewtQo i and Florence^ with a won- 
dering heart, and with a quick inttinctMe sense of 
everything that grated on h^ father^ 4n the knst, 
took her aiUent shan^ io,^ proceedings of the day. 
The proottditiga GouHnenccd by^Mr. Domfaey, 
in a cravat of extraordinary height and sdtfneaS) 
walking restlemly abo^t the drawing-room until the 
hour appointed for dinner ; punctual to whsch* aa 
East India DirectoTt of immense weakhy in a waists 
coat apna^ently* coiistnicted m serviceable deal by 
aoone plain carpenter, but reaMy engendered in the 
tailor's art, and composed of the material called 
nankeen^ arrived|.and was received by Mr. Dombey 
alone. The next ati^e of the proceedings was Mr. 
Dombey's sending hii compliiaencs to Mrs. Bombey, 
with a correct statement of the time; md'ths next, 
the East India Directer^s falling prostrate, in a 
conversation^ podnt of view, and, as. Mr. Dombey 
was not the man to pick him i^ staring at die fire 
until rescue ap()eared, in the shape of Mrs. Skewton^ 
whom the Director, as a pieasank itart m life for 
the evening, mistiook- for Mrs. DomAieyy and greeted 
with enthusiasai. <. 

The next airival was a Bank Director, reposed to 
be able to buy up anything — human nature generally, 
if he should take it in his head to influence the 

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3i6 DOmmSY AHd S0N 

iiMAtty««uurkeC In that directioii — but who imn a 
wonderfoUy modest spokenindDy atmodt boastfully so, 
and mentioBed bis '^ litde p^e '^ at KiiigstonHipon*- 
Tfaames, and xu jost being barely <equal to giving 
Doinbey a bttd and a ^ho^, if he would come and 
Visit it« LadieVy he said^ it ivas'tk^ for a man who 
lived in hiS' quiet way to take uptto himseif to invite 
— but if Mrs; Skiewton and her daughter, Mrs. 
Dombey, should ever find themseives in that direc-^ 
tion, and would do him the honour^to look at a little 
bit of a shnabbery they would find there, and a p(k>r 
litde flower-bed or so/ and a humble a^ogy for a 
pinery, and twa cr three little sttempts of that sort 
without any pretension, they woidd* distingliish him 
very much. Quryihg om hiff character, this gentle- 
man was very plainly dresAed^ in a isisp of cambric 
for a neckcloth, big shoos, a coat that was too loose 
for him, and a pair of trousers that were too ^pste ; 
add mention being made of the Opera by Mrs. 
Skewtoh, he said he very seldom went tbire, for he 
couldn't afford it. It seemed greatly to delight and 
exhilarate him to say so; and he 'beamed on his 
audience afterwards^ with his hands in his pocketa^ 
and excessive sadsfaction twinkling 4n hb eyes. 

Now Mrs. Dombey appeared^ beautiful a»l proud, 
and-aa disdainfid and debant of them all t^ if die 
bridal wreath upon her head had beexi a^ garland <^ 
steel spikes put on to foKe concession from her irhich 
«he'wt>uld.dle soonpr than yield. With her was 
Florence. ^ Wheffthey entered together, the shadow 
of. die bight of -the Tttdm agaitf ^larkened Mr. 
Dombey's face. But unobserved ; f>br'Flortece did 
not .venture to raise her eyes tiai his, and Edidi's 
indiffera^bcewas too^upreme to take die least heed 
of him.' . ' 

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ffQfUBfiV^ htm sou 317 

The arriv-alfl quickly became nwoerous. More 
directqi;^^ chairmen of public compaaijes, elderly ladies 
cs^rying burdens on their jheads for 'full dr^ss. Cousin 
FeeniX). Major Bagstock, friends of Mrs* Sk^wtaH, 
Vfith the same bright blpoisn on their cpmplexioni and 
v^ery precious, ne9klac^f, on Tery yriibered necksb 
Among these,(a^ypungJady jof sixtyrEve, r^markaUy 
coolly. ;^e86^ as 10 iier. back and shoulders* who 
spoke with an' eng^^gjisp, and whose eyelids 
wouldVt.vk^p up welly without a great dfat,:of 
trouble, on her part, and whose (nanners had that 
indefinable charm which sp frequently attaches t9 
the giddiness of youjth. As the greater part of Mr. 
Dombey's list were disposed to be taciturn, and- the 
greater part of Mrs. Dprnbey^s list were disposed ly> 
be talkative, ai^d therp was no syraipathy between 
them, Mrs..Dombey's,,jiist, by ni^i^e^c agr^mfmt, 
entered into a bond of union against Mr. Dombey's 
]isl!,i who, wandering about the roonui in, a desolate 
manner, or seeking refuge in corners^ entangled them- 
selyes with company coming in, and became barri- 
caded behind sofas, and )iad doors otpened smartly 
from without against their hcfids, and underwent 
pvigy sort of discomfiture, r. 

'^hen din^^i: w.a§ announced,. Mr.. JDombey tool^ 
down an old la^y lik^ a. qpmson i[eiyet pincushion 
stuiTed with bank-^notesywl^oinight hate been the 
identical old lady of Th^e^eedlp Strcft,»she was 
80 rich,. and look.^.so unaccommodating; Cousin 
Feenix took down Mrs. Domhey ; Major Bajgstock 
took down Mr^ Skewton ;.the young thing with the 
8Hoa|i4^ps was bestowed, as an extingi^sher, upon the 
Ea«t.Jjp5}ia Director ;.,and the remaining ladies were 
left on view inth^ drawing-room by the. remaining 
gentlemen, until a forlpni hope yQlun^ered tq con- 

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|i« IKMIBBV Aim SON 

dmt them down ttairsy and diose brare spirit! whk 
their optivet blocked op the dnuDg-room door, 
•hottuig out 8e?eii mild men in the stony-hearted hali. 
When aH the rest were got in and were aeated, one 
of these mild men sttlfappeared, in smiling confoaon, 
totally destitute and tmprovided for, and, escorted by 
the butkr, made the complete circnit of the tadile 
twice before his chair c<Mdd be fbmid, whidi k 
finally was» on Mrs. Dombey's left hand; after 
which the mild man never hdd op hia head agadn. 

NoWy fhc spacKNis dtnfi^^roomy with the com- 
pany seated round the glittermg table, busy with their 
gKttering spoons, and knives and forks, and plates^ 
might have been taken for a grown-up exposition of 
Tom Tiddler's ground, where diildrcn pick up gold 
and silver. Mr. Dombey, as Tiddler, looked las 
chaiueier to admiration ; and the long plateau of 
precious metal frosted, separating him from Mrs. 
Dombey, whereon frosted Cupids offered scendess 
flowers to each of them, t^as alkgorical to see. 

Cousin Feenix was in great force, and looked 
astonishingly young. But lie was sometimes thought- 
less in his good humour — his memory occasionally 
wandering like his legs — and on this occasion caused 
the company to shuc^er. It happened thus. Tbe 
young lady with <die back, who regarded Coudn 
Feenix with todment^ of tenderness, had entrapped 
the East India Director bto leading her to the 
chair next him ; ' in return fdr which good office, she 
immediatefy abandoned the Director, who, being 
iihaded (to the other side by a gloomy black velvet 
hat suitnounttng a bony and speechless female witii a 
fen, yielded to a depression of Spirits and w^drew 
into himself. Cousin Feenix and the young lady 
were very lively and humorous, and die yoimg lady 

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WMBB^ iWl> SOU St9 

laughed so much at something Coosin Peenix refetted 
to hefy 4liat Major Bagstock begged leate to in^w^ 
on behalf of Mrs. Skewton (they were sitting oj^po* 
site, a little loirer down), whether that might not be 
considered public property. 

**Why, upon fhy life/' said Cousin Feenix, 
^^diere's nothing in it; it really is iMt worth 1-6- 
peating : m pomt t>f fact, it's merely an anecdote of 
Jack Adams. I dare say my^end Dombey ; *^^ 
the general attention was concentrated on Cousili 
Ftecnix ; •^may reiheriiber Jack Adams, J»ck Adams, 
not Joe ; that was hiv brother. Jack-l4fttle Jack — 
man with a cast in his eye, and a slight impediment 
in his speech-^Hnan who sat for somdbody's boroughs 
We usoi to callhim in my parliamentary time W. 
P. Adams, in consequence cif his being Warming 
Pan for a young fellow who was in his minority. 
Perhaps my friend Dombey* may hate known 'the 
man ? ' 

Mr. Dombey, who was as hkely to have kil6wn 
Guy Fawkes, trplied in die negatitf^. But one of 
the ^ren mild men uiiexpectedly leaped into difr- 
tmction, by saying he had known him, and adding' — 
^ always wore Hessian boots ! " 

** ExactJy,*' said Cousin Feenix, beioding forward 
to see the mild man', and smile encouragement at him 
down the table. « That was Jack. Joe wore ^' 

« Tops ! ** cried the mild man, rising in public 
estimation every inlftant. 

•« Of tourse," s^id Cousin Feenix, ^ you were 
lutim'ate with emr 

*«I knew them both/' said tbe-mild man. With 
whom Mr. Dombey immediately took wine. 

♦♦DeVilish good fellow. Jack?" said Cousm 
FeeniX) again bending forward, and smiling. 

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SM DOMB&y AND SON 

<*Excelkm,'' rccurncd the nuld maoy faeoonog 
iioUl en his socceai. **Oiie of the beat fdkm I 
ever knew*'' 

mNo doaU you ha^ heacd the storyi" vai 
Cousin Fecnix. 

** I shall imoWf". replkd the . bold mild man, 
**when I bavo heard your Ludship tell it." 
With that» he leaned back in hia^chair amd smOedat 
tbe ceiling^as kBommg it by heart, and being already 
tickled. 

** In point of fac^ it's tiothing of a story in itsd^" 
said CooMua Feeaix, a4dres^g the table with a 
smile* and a gay shake of his h^ad* ** and not worth 
a word of preface* . Bat it's jmustrative of the oeat- 
ness of Jack's huipour. The £ict is, that Jack was 
invited 'down to a marriage — ^which I think took 
place in Barkshire ? " 

** Shropshire," said the bold mild man, finding 
himself appealed to. 

"Wsis it^ Well! In point of fact it might 
have been in any .shire," said Coosin Feenix. " So, 
my friend being if^vited dg^wn to t^is nxarriage in 
Anyshire," with a pleasant sense of the readiness of 
this joke, ** goes. Just as some of us, having had 
the honour. of beiiig infvite4 to the maxriage of my 
lately and accomplished relative with my frieod 
Dombey, didn't require tp be asked twice, smd were 
devilish glad to lie presi^nt oiji so interesting an occa- 
sion. — Goes — Jack goes. Now^tbis marriage was, 
in point of fact, the ii^riage of an unconunonly fine 
girl with a man for whom she didn't care, a buttoB, 
biut whom sher accepted on account of his .pr9pefty) 
which was immense. When Jack^retnroed'to town, 
.after die nuptials,: a. ^mai^, he kne^w, meeting him in 
the lobby pf the. House of Commons^, says, *Wcll, 



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DOMBEli^ AKIX «ON 3i> 

Jack, how are the iU-matched cowlcf ^111- 
matched/ says Jaek. < NcH at alL It^s a perfectly 
fimr aii4 equal itransactioik ^&r if. regularly bought* 
aad ^on may take your oath be is <a8 r ^ularly-sold ! ' * ' 
In his fidl cojoymcat of this culminatiag; |K>iiit of 
his story the shudder,: which had gone all round the 
table like an electric spark* struck Cousin Feenix, 
and 'he stcmped. Not a smile occasioned by the 
only general topic of coiifersation broached that day, 
appeared on any face* A {tf'olbund silence ensued $ 
and the wretched. mild man, who had beem as inno- 
cent of any real foreknowledge of the story as die 
child unboton, had tiie eaiqui^ misery of reading in 
every eye that he was regarded as the prime mover 
of the mischiefs i >< . 

Mr» DoHibey's face wis not a changefiil one, and 
being out in its mould of state that day, showed 
little other apprehension iof the story, if any, than 
that which he repressed Wbe& he said solemnly, 
amidst the silence, that it was <^ Very good." There 
was a rapid glance from Edith towards Florence, 
but otherwise she remained, externally, impassive apd 
unconscious. -u 

.Through the vanovs stages of rich meats ^nd 
wines, continual gold and silver, dainties of earth, 
air, i^e, and watery heaped-up fruits,* aad that ijvme- 
cessary article in Mr. Dombey^s banquets — ^ice— -the 
dinner slowly made' Its -way : the later su^ei). being 
achieved to the sonosous music q( incessant; doubLe- 
kncpcksr anoooncing the: arrival of visitors, who^ 
portion of the ileast' was lifaitedtoi the sfueU thereof 
When Mr8."^Doiibey rose^atwa* a. sight i)^.,see her 
lor^^ with- stiff throal! and erect head, hold. the docn* 
open for the withdrawal of tihe ladies; and to see how 
ahe swept past Irnnj with his daughter <m her aroci. 

II. Y 

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iii DCWtfBV^ AND SOU 

Mr. Dombcy w^s' a |vave' si^vt, belund the 
decanters, in a state of dignhy $ and tke East India 
Director was a forlorn sight near the 'uaoecupied ead 
of the table, in a ittate of solitude; and the Major 
was a ftiilitary sight, relating stories, of the Duke of 
York to six of the seven hiild men (the ambitioas 
one was utterly quendied) ; and the Bank Director 
was a lowfy sight, making a ^an of his little aUtetopt 
at a pinery, with dessert^^knives, for a group of 
admirers ; and Coustn Feenix was a thoughlifal sight, 
as he smoothed his long wristbands' and stealthily 
adjusted his wfg. But all these sights were of short 
duration, being speedily broken- up by coiFeeyand the 
desertion of the roemr. 

There was a throng in the state-rooms i^ stairs, 
increasing evtfy miliute ; but itill Mr. Dombey's list 
of victors afipeared to have some native impoesitnlityof 
amalgamation with Mrs. Dombey's list, and no one 
could have doubted which was which. The single 
exception to this rule perhaps was Mri Carker, who 
now smiled among the company, and who, as be 
stood in the circle that was gathered aboat Mrs. 
Dombey — ^watchfiil of her, of them, his chief, Cleo- 
patra and the Major, Florence, and eva-ything 
around^—appeared at 'ease with both divisions o( 
guests, and not marked -^as exclusively belonging to 
either. - « .:T/ . 

'Florence had a Bread. 4>f hinl^ which made his 
presence in the room aiiightiniareto her. She could 
tiot avoid the recollection of it, for lier eye» were 
drawn towards-* him et!«ry now and then, by an 
attracti6^ of dislike and distrust idiat she could UA^ 
resist. Vet her thoughts were busy with' other things; 
for ad she sat apart — ^not unadmii^ or unkmght, but 
in the gendeness of her quiet. spirtt-^e felt hov 

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IT. DOaSBEYAim SON 1323 

r le part her fatthes* had in what was going an, and 

'f^ with pain^ how ill at ease he seemed to bs^ and 

. w little regarded he was as he Inhered about near 

-» doai^ for those vimtors whom he wished to dift* 

, . guisin with particular^ attentioD, and took them up 

,. introduce itiem to his wife, who received them 

i& proud coldness^ but showed no interest. or wish 

pleaJse, and nerer, after the hare ceremony of 

.. ceptioDy in consultation of his wishes, or in welcome 

' his friends, opened her lipik It was not the less 

.^rplexing orpamfid to Florence, that, she who acted 

ma, treated her so kindly and with such loving 

^nsideration, that it almost seemed an ungrateful 

^ursron her part even to know of what was passing 

efore her eyes, ... 

Happy l^lonsnoe would have been, might she have 
entured to bear her father company, by so much as 
look ; and happy Florence was, m iitde suspecting 
he main cause of his uneasisesa. But afraid of 
«eflaing to know that he was placed at any dis- 
idvantage, lest he should foe resentful of that 
knowledge; and dirided between her impulse 
towards him, and her grateful affection for Edith ; 
she scarcely dared to raise her eyes towards either. 
Anxious and unhappy for them both, the thought 
stole on her through the crowds that it might have 
been better for them if this noise of tongues and tread 
of feet had never cobm thocev*— if the old dulhess 
and decay had never been replaced by novelty and 
sp^endour,--^ the Neglected ^ child had found no 
friend in Edith, but had lived her solitary life, un- 
pitied and forgotteiw 

Mrs. Chick had some such thoughts too, but they 
were not so quietly developed in her mind. This 
good matron had been-outraged in the first mstange 

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314 OOMBEY AND SON | 

bj not reoetTiiig an isfitadoil to dnmer. ThatUot | 
partially recoTeredy she had gone to a Tast expene 
to make anch a figure before Mrs. Dombey at hooK, 
aa ahotJd dazzle the sensea of that lady, and heap 
BMXtificatioDy moimrama high^ on the head of Mn. 
Skew tun. 

*< But I am made," aaid Mrs. Chick to Mi. 
Chick, **of no more accocmt than Florence! Wbo , 
takes the smallest notice of me ? No one ! " 

<<No one, my dear," assented Mc* Chick, who 
was seated by the side of Mrs. Chick agaioit k 
waUy and could consc^ hunself, eren there^ fax«>^y 
whisthng. 

** Does it at all appear as if I was waEOted herei" 
exclaimed Mrs. Chick, with flashing eyes. 

^No, my dear, I don't thmk it does^" nid Mi. 
Chick. 

^ Paul's mad I " said Mrs. Ohick. 

Mr. Chick, whisdcd. 

** Uidess you are a monster^ which I somew 
think you are,'' said Mrs. Chick with candoBf) 
^* don't sit there humming tones. How anyone 
with the most distant feeling of a man, can see tbat 
mother-in«*law of Paul's, dressed as she is, going oo 
like that, with Major Bagstock, for whoffl^ anioog 
other pecious things, we are indebted to f^ 
LucretiaTox ^" 

** My Lucrtetia Tox, liiy dear ! " said Mr. Cluck, 
astowided.( 

•♦Yes," retorted Mils. Chick, with great severity, 
"jrotfT Lucretia Tox— I say how anybody can «ee 
that mother-in-law of Paul's, and that hattgbtf vile 
of Paul's, and these indecent old frightt^with theii 
backs and shoulders, and in short this at hooK 
generally, and hum-i*^," on which word Mrs. Chid 

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DOMBEY AND SON 3^5 

laid a scornful emphasia that made Mr. Chick start, 
*« is, I thank Heaven, a mystery to me i " 

Mr. Chick screwed his mouth into a form irre- 
concilable with hmnming or whisding^ and looked 
very contemplative^ 

<f Bat I hope I know what is due to mysdf," 
said Mrs. Chick, swelling with indignatio% ^ though 
Paul has forgotten what is due to me. I ^un not 
going to sit here, a member of this family, to be 
taken no notice c£ I am not the dirt under Mrs. 
Dombey's feet, yset-n-not ^te yet," said Mrs. 
Chick, as if she expected to become so, about the 
day after to-naocrow. ^ And I shall go. I will 
not say (whatever I may think) that this affair has 
been > gotup solely to degrade and insiilt me. I shalj 
merely go. I shall not be missed ! " 
. Mrs. Chick roise erect with these words, and took 
the arm of Mr. €liick,'who escorted her from the 
room^ after iialf an hour's shady sojourn then. 
And k is due to her penetration ta bbserve that she 
certainly was not missed at all. i 

But she was not the only indignant guest ; ibr 
Mr. Dombey's list (still constantly in diiSculties) 
were» as a body, indignant with Mrs. Dombey's lis^ 
for looking at them Uirough eye-glasses, and audibly 
wondering who all those people were ; while Mrs. 
£>6mbey's list Cdmplained of weariness, and dw 
young tthiiig with die shoulders, deprived of the 
attentions of that gay youth Cousin Feenix:(wh6 
went ais^y. irom the dinner-table), coofidentialiy 
alleged ^totrthirty or forty friends that she was bored 
to (kath. All the old kdies .with the burdens oil 
their heads, had greater or less cause of' complaint 
against Mrs. Dombey ; and the Directors and 
Chairmen coincided in thinking that if * Dombey 

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Ss6 DOMBEY AND SON 

jmitt marfy, he had better have married fXHnebody 
nearer his 6wii age, not quite so handsome, and a 
little better off. The geneml opinion among this 
class of gentlemen was, that it was a weak thing in 
Dombey, and he'd live to repent it. Hardly any- 
body there^ except the mild men, stayed, or went 
away, without o^isidering himself oc herself n^ected 
and aggrieved by Mr. Dombey or Mrs. Dombey ; 
and the qieechless female in the black velvet hat 
wds found to have been stricken mute, because the 
ladf in the crimson velvet had heen handed down 
before her. The nature even of the mild men got 
corrupted^ either fi-om- their cnrdHi^ it with too 
much kmonade, or from the general inoculation that 
|irevailed; and they made sarcastic jokes to one 
another, and whispered disparagement on stairs and 
in by<*plac^8. The general dissatisfaetibn and dis- 
€6mfort so difiised itself, that dit adbembled foot- 
men in the hall were as well acquainted with it as 
the coinpany abo>ve* Nay, the very 'linkmen outside 
got hold of it, and compared the party- to a funeral 
out of mourning, with none of the company re- 
membered in the will. 

At last, the guests were all gone, and the link- 
men too; and the street, crowded so long with 
cai^riages, was clear ; and the dying lights showed 
b6 obe in the rooms, but Mr* Dombey and Mr. 
Carker, who 'were talking together apar^ and Mrs. 
Dombey and her mother: the former seated on 
an ottonotaa; the latter reclinifig in the Cleopatra 
attitude, awaiting the arrival of her maidi Mr. 
Dombey having finished his cbmmunicatioB to 
Carker, the latter advanced obsequiously to take 
leave. ^ ;. 

« I trust," he said, « that the ^fatigues of this de- 

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DOMBBlfi AND SON $27 

lightiiil evjcokig will not inconveoience Mn^ Dombey 
to-morrow.-' 

^Mrs. Dombey,'' said Mr. Dombey, advaticin^ 
<<ha8 sufficiently spared herself fatigae, to relieve 
yon from any smxiety of that kind. I regret to say, 
Mrs. Dombey, that I could have wished you had 
fatigued. yourself a little m6re on this occasion." 

She Jooked at him with a supercitious glance, that 
it seemed ndt worth her while to protract, and turned 
away her eyes without speaking. 

<* I. am Borry^'madamy" said Mr. Dombey, ** ihat 
you should- ndt have thought it your duty " 

She looked at him again* 

<<Your duty, madam/' pursued Mr. Dombey, 
<'to have received my IHends with a-litde more 
deference.. Some of. those whom you have ^ been 
pleased tQ flight to-night in a very marked manner, 
Mrs. Dombey, cooler a disdnctton upon you, I must 
tell you, mtnsy visit they .pay you." 
. "Doyott know that there is some one here?'* 
she retncaed^ now looking at him steadily. 

"No! Carkerl I^ tint you do not. I 
insist that yoa do not," criod Mr. Dombey, stopping 
that noiseless gentleman in bis withdrawal. **Mr. 
Carker, madam, as you know, possesses my con-* 
fidence. He is aawell acquainted as myself on the 
subject on^wfaich I mak. I beg to tell yon, for your 
informatioB, M^s. 'iJtombey, • that . I consider diese 
weaUiy and impdrtant persons confer a distinction 
upon me.: '' and Mc. Dombey drew iiiniself. up, as 
having. now rendered them oif the highest possibb 
importance. ... 

** I ask you," she repeated,, bending her disdain- 
fid, steady gane.upon turn, ** do you know that ther^ 
is some ooehere^ sir ?^ " 

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SaS DOMBEY AND SON 

**1 miist entreat," «aid Mr. Carker^- stepping 
forward, '< I must beg, I must demand, 'to be re- 
leased. Slight and unihiportant aA this difference 

. Mrs. Skewton, who had been intuit upon htar 
daughter's face, took him up here. . 

*<'My sweetest Edith,'' she said, << and my dearest 
Domb^ ; our excellent friend Mr. Cark^, Ibr so 
I am sure I ought to mention him-^-^- — ^^ 

Mr. Carker murmured, *^Too much honour." 

— *^ hae used the very wonU thatt were in my 
mind, and thaft I hare been dying, these ages, £>r 
an opportunity of introdiuiiisg.< Slight and unin»- 
portantr Mf sweetest Ed^, and my dearest 
I>ombey, do we not know that any difference 
between you'iwo t ■ ■ No, Fiowers j not now.** 
. I Flowers was the maid, who, finding gentlemen 
present, retreated with precipitatioiik' 

<< That any difference between you two,^' resumed 
Mrs. Skewton, <<with' the. Heart you possess in 
common, and the exceteively charmu^ boiid o£ feel- 
ing that there is between you, most be^ slight and 
unimportant? What words ccndd better define the 
fact? None. Therefore I*. am glad to take this 
riight occasion — this trifling occasion, that is so 
replete widi . Nature, and your indiiridual characters, 
and all that^-^so truly calculated to faring' the tears 
into^ a parent's eyes — ^to say. tHat. ITattaeh no 'im- 
portance, to them in the leasts except 2 as .deTeiopii^ 
these minor elements of' Soul ; and that, uhiike most 
mammas-diniaw (that odious. phrase, dear Domfaey ! ) 
as they have been represented to me to exist in this 
I fear too 'artificial w,orld, I shall never attempt- to 
interpose between you, -at such a. .tine, and never 
can much regret, after all, such little ^asbes of the 

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DCWBEY AND SON 3^ 

torch of What- 8-hi»'«ame'— not Cupidy hot the other 
delightful creatiire/* • 

•There was a- sharpnest- ia the good mother's 
glabce at bolh her childrien as she spoke^ that may 
have b^en expressive of a direct and n^ell^-considered 
purpose hidden between these rambling words. That 
purpose, providendyrtp detach hersdf inthe beginning 
from all the clankings of their chain that were lx> 
come, and to shelter herself with the fiction of her 
innocent belief in their mutual afiection^ and their 
adiiptation to each odier. 

** I have pomied-out to Mrs.>Dombey/' said Mr. 
Dombeyy in: his' most stately mamvH'y *<that in her 
conduct thus early in our married life, to which I 
q)>ject, and which, I request, may be corrected. 
Carker," with a nod of dismissal, << good night to 
you!" 

Mr. Carker bowed to the imperious form of the 
Bride, whose ' sparkliiig' eye was fixed upon her 
husband ; and stopping at Cleopatra's couch on his 
way out, raised to his lips the hand she graciously 
extended to hinn in lowly and ^miring homage, f 

If his huidsome wife had reproached him^ or evso 
changed countenance, or brokita the sBeiKre in which 
she riemained, by one ^ord» now that they were 
aldne (for Cleopatra made off with all speed)» Mr« 
Dombey would; have beoi equd to some assen^Q 
of his casd against her.. But the intense^iuiHitti^rr 
aUe» withering ^oocn^with which* afi^r iQQkii^'Up0A 
him,.sh« dropped hereyeajlis if he were .tcM> worth- 
less and indifferent to her to be challenged with a 
syllable-rfi^tiie mcfiahle idisdain.jiKl hai;^tiQeids in 
which, she nA before him-f-^e cold; indexible re- 
solve with. whioh. her every feature seemed to bear 
him down* and put him by^— he had no rcsiouriC^ 

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S30 DOMB£y ANDnSON 

against ; and he left her» with her whcJe OTerbeariog 
beauty concentrated on despising him« 

Was he coward eoough to watch her, an hour 
afterwardst OQ the eld w^l staircase, where he had 
once seen Florence in the moonlight, toiling up with 
Paul ? Or was he in ^e. dark > by accident, when, 
looking up» he saw her coming, with a light, fi^om 
the room where Florence lay, and marked again the 
face so changed, which be^ could not subdue i 

fiut ift coukl never alter as his own did* It never, 
in its utmost pride and passioo* knew the shadow 
that liad fallen on hia,* in the dark comer, on the 
night of the return; and often since; and which 
deepened on.it now, as he looked ,i»p. 



Chaptier XXXVII 

MORE WARNINGS THAN ONE 

FLORENCE, Edith, and Mrs. Skewton were 
together next day, and the carriage was wait- 
ing at the door to take diem out. For Cleopatra 
had her galley again now, and Withers, no longer 
the wan, stood u(»ight in a pigeon-breasted jacket 
and 'military trousers, behind her wheelless chair at 
dinner-time, and butted' no more. The hair of 
Withers was radiant with pomatum, in these days 
of^ down, and he wote kid gloves and smeh of the 
water of Cologne. • >m : 

They wertf'asMiiabled in Cleopatra's rdom. The 
Serpent <£ old NUe (not to mention bar disreapect- 
fully) was reposing on her sofa, sipping her momiog 
chocolate at three o'clock in the aftemocMi, sad 

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DOMBBY AND SON S3> 

Fld^en the Mnd was faaljening on her youthfU 
cuffs and frills, and performing a kind of private 
coronadon cerefoony on her, vith a peach^ccdoured 
velvet bonnet ; the artificial roaes in which nodided 
to nncopioon advantage, as the palsy trifled with 
them, like a breeze. 

**l think I am a little nervous this morning, 
Fiowers,'' said Mrs. SkeWton* << My hand quite 
shakes/' 

'^You were the life of the party last night, 
ma'ani; you kniow,'' returned. Flowers, *<and you 
suffer for it to-day, you see.'* » 

Edith, who had beckoned Florence to the window^ 
and was looking out, with her back turned on the 
toilet of her esteemed mother, suddenly withdrew 
from it, as if it had lightened. 

**My darling, child," cried Cleoratra, laaguidly, 
**jou are not nervous? DcMi't tell me^ my dear 
Editht that you> so enviably self-possessed, are 
beiginoing to be a martyr too, like your unfortunately 
cottstiluted mother ! Withers, some one at tbedoor." 

** Cardt ma'am," said Widiers, taking it towards 
Mrs. Dombey. 

**l am going out," she siud, .without looking at it. 

** My dear kve," drawled Mrs^ Sk)ewton» <^ how 
very odd to send that message without seeing the 
name! Bring it Ifere, WitJbers. Dear mb, my 
love; Mr. Carker,tOQ! That very sensible person!" 

<< I am going out," repeated Edkh, in so imperious 
a tone that Withers^ goihg to the door, 'imperiously 
informed the servant who was waitkg, ''Mrs. 
Dombey is going om. Get along with you," and 
shut it 00 him. 

But the servant came back afiier a short absence, 
and whispered to Withers again, who once more, 

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Sia DOMBET ANIX SON 

aod not Tcrywiiiingly, presented hinaelf before Klh. 
Dombey. 

**li you pleaaey nia!ain, Mr. Carker aendi lus 
f egpe ctf bl complinieDtey and begs you would mtre 
him one miniitey if you could— -^ bosinessy maim, 
if you please." 

^^ReaUy, my loTe^'' said Mrs. Skewtom in her 
mildfst: mannrr ; for her dan^ter's hcevraa threatcQ- 
ing ; ^ if you would allow me to offer a word, I 
should recommend— —" 

«« Show hun this way/' said Edith. An Widicn 
disappeared to execute the command^ she added, 
fmytwDfg on her mother, ^'As he cornea at pur 
recx>mmcodatiDn, let him come to your room." 

<«May I^-Hshall I go awayf " asked Florence, 
hurriedly. 

Edith nodded yeft, bat oa her way to the door 
Fldrence met the vintdr coming im With the 
same, disagreeable mixture of familiarity and forbear- 
anecy with which he had first addressed her, he 
addressed her iiow m his softest manneiv^oped abe 
was quite well — needed not to ask, with such looks 
to anticipate the answer — had scarcely had the 
honour to knoMrher, last night, she was so greatly 
changed^-— and held the door > open for her to pass 
out ; .with a secret sense of power m her fthripting 
from him,- that all the. deference and politeness i 
lus mannev cibdd not qoite^conceaL -'^ < 

He then bowed hiiriself £br a moment over Mn. 
Skevttoo^s condescending: hand^ and lastly bowed 
to Edith. Coldly rotuming his salute without kx)k- 
ing at, him, 'and neither seating herself nor inviting 
him to be seated, she waited for him to speak. 

Entrenched in her pride and power, and with all 
the obduracy of. her spirit summoned about her, atiil 

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DOMBBY. Mm aON 3t3 

bef old coQYiotion «hat she aod her mother had been 

known by thU man in. their worst coliHirs, from their 

Erst acquaintance; that every degradation she had 

sufFered in her own eyes was as plain to him as to 

herself; iliat he read her life as thbvigh it- were a 

vile book^ and flattei^ the leaves before her in slight 

looks and tones of voice .which no one else cookl 

detect ; weakenedr aad undermined her. Proudly 

as she opposed her^self to himy^with her commanding 

face exacting his humility, her disdainfiil lip repulsing 

liim^ her bosMHil' angry at his intnisicmy and the dark 

lashes of her eycbwllenly jreiling their light, that no 

ray of it might shine upon him — and submissivdy 

as he stood before her, with an entreiKting! ittjured 

manner y but with cqmplete submission to her viM — 

she knew, in her own soul, that the cases were 

reversed, and that the triumph and si^riority were 

his, a&d that he knew it full well. 

** I have presumed,'' said Mr. Carker, <<to soJkit 
an interview, and I have ventured to describe it iis 

being one of business, because " 

** Perhaps you are charged by Mr. .Dombey with 
some message of reproof," said Edith. '^You 
possess Mr«; Dombey!s confidence in such an unusual 
degree, sir^> that you would scarcely surprise me if 
thatwerejoiir business." ■•> 

^*1 have no mcssagei to the lady ^ who shed* a 
lustre upon his name," said Mr. Carker. ^^ But I 
entreat that ladyi, on my own behalf, to be just to 
a very humble claimant for justice at her hands-— a 
mere dependant, of Mr. Donibey's — which. is a 
position of humility ; . aid to reflect upon my perfect 
helplessness kst nighty and the impossibility! of my 
avoiding the ^hare that was forced upon me in a very 
pamfnl occasion." . . r 

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Hi WmB»F ARD SON 

^- My dearest Edith/' iiinted Cled^tra in « low 
voice, M 8be held her eye-gkss aside, ** really voy 
charming of Mr. What^-his-name. And rail of 
heart!*' 

' ^For I do/' said Mr. Carker^ appealing to Mrs. 
SkewtOD with a look of gratefid defetenoe^*-^** I do 
venture to call it a paitiful occasion, though merely 
because it was so to me, who had die misfortune to 
be present. So sUght a difference, as between the 
principals— 4]ietweenthoMr who love each other with 
disihta:ested devotioQ, and would make <any sacrifice 
of self, in such a catt«e«^6 nothing. As Mrs. 
Skewton herself expressed, with so mnch truth and 
feekng: ^^^ ^^t, it is nothing.'' 

Eitith could not look at him, but she said after a 
few moments, 

** And your business, sir— — " 

•* Edith, my pet," said Mrs. Skewton, **tfil this 
time, Mr. Carker is standing! My dear Mr. 
Carker, take a seat, I beg." 

He offered no rej^y to the mother, but fixed his 
eyes on the {H-dud daughter, as though he would 
(Hily be bidden by her, and was resolved to be bidden 
by her. Edith, in spite of herself, «it down, and 
slightly motioned with her hand to him to be seated 
too. No action could be colder^ hai^tier, more 
insolent in its air of supremacy and disrespect, but 
she had struggled against even that concession in- 
effeetually, and it was wrested front' her. That was 
enough ! Mr. Carker sat down. ' 

'*May I be allowed, madam,^> said Carker, 
taming his white te^ on Mrs. Skewton like a light 
• — *^ a lady of your excellent sense and qoiok feefing 
will give me credit, for good reason, I am sare^— to 
address what I have to say, to Mrs. Dombey, ani to 

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DOMBEir> AND SON 335 

leave her to impart it to. you who are her best and 
dearest friend — ^next to Mr. Dombey ? " 

Mrs. Skewton would have retired, but Edith 
stopped her. £dith would have stopped him too^ 
and indignantly ordered bkn to speak openly or not 
at all, but that he said, in a low voice — ^^Miss 
Flor^nce-»-4he young kdy who has just left the 
room " 

Edith suffered him to proceed* She looked at 
him now. As he bent forward, to be nearer, with 
the uimost show of delicacy and respect, and with 
hia teeth persuasively arrayed, in a self-depreciating 
smile, she £d!t as if she could have struck him dead. 

^'Mise Florence's position," he began, ^*has been 
an unfortunate one. I have a difficulty in alluding 
to it to you, whose' attachment to her &ther is 
naturally watchful and jealous of every word that 
aj^ies to him/' Always distinct and soft in speech, 
no laAguage codd describe the extent of his dis- 
tinctness and softness, when he said these words, or 
came to any others of a similar import. ** But, as 
one who is devoted to Mr. Dombey in his ditiPerent 
way, and whose life is passed in admiration of Mr. 
Dombey's character^ may I say, without offence to 
your tenderness as a wife, that Miss Florence has 
unhappily been neglected-— by her father? May I 
say by her fa^er ? " 

Edith ueplied, « I know it.'? 
. " You know it ! '.' said Mr. Carker, with a great 
appearance of relief. ** It removes a mountain from 
my bfieast. May I hope you know how the neglect 
originated ; in what an amiable phase of Mr. Dom- 
bey's pride — character, I mean ? " 

" You may pass that by, sir," she returned, •* and 
come the sooner to the end of what you have to say." 

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336 DOMBEY AND SON 

** Indeed, I am tensibley madam,? rejJied Carker, 
— ** trust me, I am deeply tenaihle, that Mr. Dombey 
can require no justification in any^ing to yovu But, 
kindly juc^ of my breast by your own, and you will 
forgive my interest in hia% if, in its exccis, it goes at 
all astray/' 

What a sub to her proud heart, to nt there, face 
to face with him, and have him tendering her hike 
oath at the altar agam and again for her acceptance, 
and pressing it upon her, like the dregs of a sickeniiig 
cup she could not own her loathing of, or tarn away 
from! How shame, remone, ud passion raged 
within her, When, upright and majestic in her beauty 
before him, she knew that in her spirit she was down 
at his feet! 

«* Miss Florence," ssod Carker, « left to the care 
•—if one may call it care^^f servanu and mercenary 
people, in every way her inferiors, necessarily waztted 
some guide aod compass in her younger days, and, 
naturally, for want of them, has been indiscreet, and 
has in some degree forgotten her station. There was 
some folly about one Walto:, a common lad, who is 
fortunately dead now: and some very undesiraUe 
association, I regret to 'say, with certain coasting 
sulors, of anythxofg but good repute, and a runaway 
old bankrupL" 

** I have heard the circumstances, sir/' said Edidi, 
flashing her disdainful glance upon him, ^fand I know 
that you pervert them. You may not know it. I 
hope so." ' 

« Pardon me," said Mr. Quaker. **l believe 
that nobddy knows them so well as I^ Your generous 
and ardent nature, madam — the same* nature which is 
so nobly imperative in vindication of your beloved 
and honoured .husband, and which has blessed him 

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DOMBBV ANI> SON 337 

a» even his meritt dcserrfr-^I most respect, defer to, 
bow before. But, as regards > the circumstances, 
which IB indeed the business I presumed to solicit 
ydut stteotion to, I can have no doUbt, since, m the 
execntion of my trust aa Mr. Dombey's confidential 
— >-I presume to 8sjr-^«fnend, I have fully ascertained 
them*. In my escecntion of that trust ; in my deep 
concern, which you can ao weil' understand, for 
evcrythmg relating tO' him, intenstfcd, if you will 
(fot Itfisar I labour under- your displeasure), by the 
lower . motive of desire to prove my diligence, and 
make myself the more acceptable; I have long 
puraued' these 'drcnmstances. by myself and trust* 
worthy instruments, dnd have innumerable and most 
misMite proofk)*' • 

She raised her* eyes no h^er than his month, but 
she aaW the means of mischkf vaunted in every tooth 
it contained.. 

^ Pardon me, ; nuidam,'^; - he contmved, ** if, in 
my perplexity, I' presume to take counsel with 
you,. and t6 couuh your ]|ileasure. I think I have 
obeesfied that you are greatly interested in Miss 
Fl^eneer' 

What wasiChere in her he had not observed,. and 
did not know I Humbled and yet maddened by the 
thong^ty in every new pre-eminent of it^ however 
faints she pressed her teeth upon her quivering lip to 
force composure on it,and ctistan^ inclined her head 
inredhr. 

<< This idtec^ madam-*-ea touching an evidence 
of everything associated with Mr. Dombey. being 
deaft' to yo»"-Hnduces me to pause, before I make him 
acquaint with these circumstances, which, as yet, 
he does not know. It so far shakes me, if I may 
make the confession, in my allegiance, that on the 

II. z 

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ti% DOlf ■EV' AND SOH 

indinaiioii of the least dMffe to that effisct firom yoo^ 
I would capprew tfaenL'^ 

Edith raited her head quickly, and ctarta^ bick, 
bent her dark glance. npon him. He met it intkliB 
Uaodett and' moat defereiidal smilei and wentoa 

<<Youaay thafeaa Ideacnbe^-dieniy th^ are per- 
verted* I fear not**-! fear not : hot let qb asauBc 
that they are. The uneaaiDess I have for some tme 
felt otb the Mihject, arifea in<' thu: that tke mere 
dtcnmstance of finch aatociatiaiiy often repeat^ os 
the jpart of Miaa Florence^ hoveirer ianoceedy -^d 
coobdingly9H)^otiild.bcrconcluii9e-wiili Mr. Domber, 
already predispoaed againat faer^ aad>wmild lead lam 
to take aoaae stqi (I know heiiaa oecasioBsdly con- 
templated it) of separation and alienatiod'ef her hm 
hia iiooie. Madn^ bear anth me^ and mneii^ 
iby intercourse with Mr. Dombey^ and niy.kaow- 
ledge of him, and my reyerence for him, afaMtftem 
childhood^ whni' I say thatifliei has a faoi^ ^ b a 
lofty tmbbomness^ rooted- in- ^at noble pride and 
sense of- power which belongs to him^ and which ve 
must ali deSa to ; \f^ich is not -assailaUe like tbe 
obstinacy of other characters ; and which ^i»w8 spot 
itself from day tor day^ add lyaear to y^r." ' 

She.bcnt hear glance upon fainr still f bot^ look as 
sleadfeat aa she woidd, her haughty sostnls^dikted, 
and: her brea^i caAie somewhat dbiper, and her lip 
would slightly cnrVitt hi desc^bed diatia his pstroo 
to which they must all bow down. He saw it ; and 
though his expression did not diafige,'iheknewbe 
saw it.. ■ • •''" ' •• '-^ t-*/ 

<< Etcsi so slight an ipcidentas last m{ght'8^"he 
said, ^fif I might refer to it ono^ > morei woi^ 
serve to illustrate my meaning, better 'than a greater 
one. Dombey and 5on know netthertime,nc(r place, 

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BOMBAY ANO SON 339 

nor 869801^ but bear thegi^.dowii* But I rejoice 
in its Qccvrrence* for it bas. opened the.^ay fsx me 
to apiproach Mr«« Dombey with ibis subject to-day^ 
even if it bas entailed uton m«>the peiulty lof ker 
tempsirvy; dwpieaMew Madani» in.the dudat i£ my 
imeaiBineaa W uppreha^iioitt on this sabject* I wa$ 
^wMiipned by ,Mr. .JDcanb^ to LeaeungkHi. Time 
I.aaw yoiur There I owiidiiot help ibiowing what 
re|(»t»on: yoi» -vould abortl^ occi^vy tomBiiB him — to 
his eodmrUig happin^w^and youra.: There! xeaolved 
tojwail the time of yonr estaUiohmeniiat home- here} 
ami ID dior aa Ihaxt now done.. ' I have» 9k heait* no 
fear that 1 4haU be wanrix^i^myduty laMr. Don^^ 
if I knij jirbali UuioW in-yoiir.-hieaa^;: for where there 
is but one hwt/and mind beturecp two peraDoa-^His in 
audi a:marfiage-*-aiieabnoatrepreaent8 the other. I 
cumtcfm. my ceoacience>tbec«bre» almoatie^uaUy^ 
b^r coofidfoce^oo aucfi rtk theme,. inyou or hira« For 
the reaftons I have. mentiaDed^ liwioald aeket you. 
May* X 'aspire .to the di^tindiaB of believing, that my 
oosfideneefaiacceptfidt and that I am relieml from 
my respoQsibility.r' . 

He long remembered the look *dw gavei him<m* 
who could »f^,itf land Ibrget it?-Hmd the straggle 
thafc- ensued wsthin^jbcr. Attlast^.she sasd: . 
. .:^It;acgBpt.it»' sir. Y«a will please tO: cbnsidcv 
tliia;fliiatter atiaii.end« and that it goes' no- farther^" 

Ho'bowed low» aodtioSe* She cose uxv and he 
tookl^e walh all humiHtyj .But Withers, meeting 
him on the stains stood amazed aDtthe beauty.of his 
teeth^ jmi at h^. brilliant :«ihik;. and as he rode 
away upon his white^leggei' h^se, the: people took 
him for a dentist, rsuch was the dazzling show he 
made. The people took J^er^ when she rode-ieut in 
her carriage preBendy,£ar a great lady, as happy as die 

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340 DOMBSy Alf D 'SOU 

WK' rich and fine. Biit tkey had not seen her» just 
before^ ia her^owa room with no one by; and they 
had not fadurd her ntceraace of the three n^rds, 
«Oh^>Flofe>ence, Florence i** 
.t.Mr& Skewton^ repomng on ker sofi^ and-wpping 
her chocolate, had heard )M>thiBg but the low w«^ 
buainessy for winch ^e had 'a ^it^ averaon, 
insomuoh that she had long baniihckl it from her 
voeabaliu-fy and had gone ugh^ hi a ^charming 
manner and with an immense anotiot'C^ heart, to say 
nothing of soi^ to rain dav«rs milliners and -others 
in CMiseqiieooe* Therefere^^ Mrs. Skewtoti asked 
no'^foefftioni, andshoi^iediiio bvanesity. Indeed, the 
peadi-Teivet bonHet gave herimlfickfift de^apataon bat 
of doors$< for bemg f«rdied Mi^ishe baek of her head, 
and the day being; rather windy^ it was frantic to 
escape' from Mm. Skewtooi's company^^ a&d would 
be K:oaxed into' ao sort of compronaso. When the 
carnage jwas closed, and'thewind shut i>at, thepoisy 
played^ among die ntifiehd roses < again like an 
almshomeMftdl of sdperumiiated zephyrs; and 
altogether Mrs. Skewton had enonghto do^ and got 
e&tbot iachfferendyw ■•,.... 

> She got x>B no better towarda night; for when 
Mrs. Dooibey, : in her / dressk^^oom, ' had' - been 
dressed and waiting 'for her half anhourvaadi Mr. 
Dombey, in the drawing-room, Ihad paraded 'fanmself 
intola state of solemn frvkftibess (th^ were aill'dtree 
going out. io dilmer), Flowers the Maid wffpcued 
with' a pak faceto* Iwrsi Dombey, <sayii^: ' 

<< If yoa pfease,: mohan^ : I beg yoor pardon, bat> I 
can't do nodiiag with ^finisi" 

<< What do you mean?.'/ asked Edith. 

' ^ Well, ma^am^' ' repked- the lightened matd, 
<* I hardly know. She^s makmg faces !'•* 

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DOMBESty^.ANP SON 341 

Edith kurried with- her feo her mother's room. 
Cleopatra was arrayed ia fall dress,* wkh the 
diamonds, short-skeres, roagc^ * cacla^ teeth, and 
other jaTenility all complete; but Paralysis was not 
toi be deceived, had known her for the object of its 
errand, and had 'Struck her at her glass, wbere she 
lay like a hornhle doU that had tamUed dowQ^. 

They took her to {ueces is ycry shaaie, and .pot 
the littie of hat. that was real on a bed Doctor* 
were sent for, aitel soaa came; : Fbwerfiil remedies 
were resorted to f opimons . giTon that, she would 
raUy firom this ^ock, bat would not sarme another ; 
and there she lay speechless, aad staring at the 
ceiling, for days: sometimes mddng inarticulate 
sounds in mswer to such tfaestions as did she know 
who were present, and the like ; sometimf^s giving 
no r^ply either b^ : sign or gesture, or in. . her 
unwinking ^res* m . • 

At length she began to recover consciousness, and 
in some degree the power 'X>faiotiott, though not yet 
of speech. One day the use of her right hand 
returned $ and showing it to her. maid who was in 
attendance on her, md zjpfeumg very uneasy in 
her mind, she made, signs for a pencil and ^soime 
paper. This the maid immodiately provided^ 
thinking she waa goii^ to make a will, or write 
some last request 4 and Mrs. Ddmbey being from 
home, the naiid awaited' the result with solemn 
fedingB. r. .- . , 

After much' painful scrkwUng and erasing, and 
putting in of urong characters, Which seemed t^ 
tumble out of die pencil of < their own accord, the 
old woman' produced this document : 

** RoseH^oloured curtains." 

The maid being pcD&cdy. transfixed, «ki withr 

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^42 DOMB£Y AND SOU 

tolerable reasofiy Clea^tra amended the aiainiscript 
by adding two words more, when it stood thus : 

^ Rose-coknired cmrtains.fbr doctors;" 

The maid no^ perceived remotely that she wished 
^ese articles to be provided, for the better preseatav 
tion of her oom^exion to the &caltjr; 'and as those 
in the house ^ho knew her best, had ho doubt, of the 
cosreccnesfrof this opisiony which she was socm able 
td^stabfish for herself, ihe ro8e<*cdoured cmtain» were 
added to her btdy and she mended with increased 
rapidity Irom that hour. She was soon able, to sit 
up^ in curls and a laced cap and' ni^t^own, and to 
have a little artificial l^ooiii dropped infe^ the hollow 
caverns of her cheeks. 

It was a tremendous sight to see this old woman 
in her finery leering and mincing at- Deaths and play- 
ing off her youthfo) trkks upon him as if he had been 
the Major; but an alteration in her mind that ensued 
on the paralytic stroke was-fi^ught with as much 
ihatter for reflection, and was quite as ghastly. 

Whether the weakening of her intellectrtnade her 
more cunning and falcie than he&a^ or whether it 
confused her between what' she had assumed to be 
and what she really kad been, or wheth^« it had 
awakeijed any glimmering of remorse, which could 
neither struggle into light nor get back into total 
darkness, or whether, in the jumble of her faculties, 
a combination of these ieffecta had bom shaken up, 
which is perhaps the more likely supposition, the 
result yftfhs this :-^That nhe becaane hugely exacting 
in respect of Edith's affection and gratitude and atiten- 
tioh to her ; highly Ik^datory of herself as a most 
inestimable parent $ and very jealou^ of; having any 
rival in Edith's regard. Furth^, in place of re- 
membertng that compact nuide between them for an 

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DOMBBY AND SON 343 

avoidance of the subject, sbe conslant^r aJkided to 
her danghter^e marriage aa a proof of her heiftg an 
incompomble mothier ; and all thi% with the weakliess 
and peevishness of sueh a state, always servii^ for a 
sareabtic comn^tary on her levity and lyiNithMness. 

^ Where k'Mrs^ Dombey ? " she would say to her 
maid;' ' 

* Gone out, ma^am.'^ 

<*Gmie«utl Doetshegoouttoshanhermamiiia, 
Ftewers?** 

*' La ^less yon, no ma'am. Mrs. Dombey has 
only gone out fer a ride with Miss Florence;.'' 

<^Miss Fiwencc. Who's Miss. Florence? iDon't 
tell me about Misa Florence^ What's Miss Floretice 
to net I €<Milpared to vat i 

The apposite diupky of the diamonds, or the peach- 
velvet bonieiet (she sat in the bbunetto rectivc visitors, 
wedc^ before «he could stir out of doors), or the 
dressing of her up io' swoe gaud or other, usually 
stopped the tears that began to flow hereabouts ; ai^ 
tht woteid remsoa in a compliicent sute until Edith 
came to see her ; when, aft a gUmce of theproud^ce, 
she wicmld relapstfagain. 

'•'Well, I am sure, Edith ! " she would cry,' 
shaking her hea^. t 

<* What is* the matter, mother? " .i . 

** Matter ! I really don't know what it the matter. 
The world is coming to such an 'artificial and -un- 
grateful sdite, that I begin to dunk there'll no Heart 
-«-or anything of that sort — ^left in ;it, positivehrtf 
Withers is more a child to me than you are. ilfa 
attends to me much more than my own daughter. . I 
almost wish I didn't look so young — and alf diat 
kind of thing — and then perhaps I should be more 
considered.^' 

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344 DOMBBY AND SON 

** Wkat vottld' yott hav^^ mother ? '' 

* M Oh» a great deal» Edatfay-' impatientiy. . 

** Is diere anything. youSvant tbat yon ha?e not ? 
It iff your x>wn fruit if there be.'' 

** My own fault! " beginning to whimper. '^.The 
parent I have been to yooy Edith : making yoa a 
companion from your craidle ! And when yon neglea 
me, and have no more natural affectioB for median 
if I was a 8tranger---n0t a tweotielii partof the affec- 
tion that you have for Florence — but I am only your 
mother, and should corrupt iter m. 9, dav !•<— you re- 
proach me with its being^my own fault* 

** Mother, mother, I reproach you with nodiing. 
Why will you always dwell on tins ?'' 

** Isn't it natural that I shoidd dwell cm this, when 
I am all affection and sensittvenespi and am wounded 
in the cruellest way, whenever you look atme ? " 

f^ I do not mean -.to wouijtd you, mother* Have 
yott no remembran^'of what has been said between 
us? Let the Past rest." ' 

** Yes, rest 1 And let gratitude to me, rest $ and 
letaffection for me,f«st; and let^n^ rest in my out- 
of-the-way room, with no society. and no attention, 
while you £nd new relatioiks to make nluch o^ who 
have no earthly claim upon you ! . .Good gracious, 
Edith, do you know what an elegant estaWsfament 
yottiare at the head of? " 

«Yes.' Hush!" 

**'Aad that ^^tlemaalyicreatore, Domhoy ? Do 
you know that you ai-e married to him, Edith, and 
that you have a settlement, and a position* and a car- 
nage, and I don't know what ? " m 

• ^* Indeed, I know it, mother; well." 

: ^^< A»yoti would have had with tbst delightful. good 
soul — what did they call him? — Granger-^-if he 

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DOMBBY AND SON 345 

hadn't difcd. And who have yon to thank for all 
this, Edith?'' 

** You, mother ; you." 

** Then put your arms round my neck, and kiss 
me ; and show me, Edith, that you know diere never 
was a better mamma than I have been to you« And 
don't let me become a^ perfect fright with teasing and 
wearing myself at 'your ingratitude, or 'when I'm out 
again in society no soul will know me, not even that 
hatefid animal, the Major." 

But, sometimes, whea Edith went nearer to her, 
and bending down her stately head,' put her cold cheifek 
to hers, the mother would draw back as i£ she w«re 
afraid of her, and would fall into a fit of tremUi^, 
and cry out that there was a wandering in her wits. 
And sometimes she would entreat her, with humility, 
to sit down on the chair^ beside her bed, and would 
look at her (as she sat there brooding) with a face 
that even the rose-coloured curtains couid not^make 
otherwise than scared and! wild. 

The rose-coloured curtains blushed, in course of 
time, on Cleopatra's bodily recovery, and on her dress 
-^more juvenile, than ever, to repair the ravages of 
illness-^and on the rouge, and on the teeth, and- on 
the ourlsy.andson the diamonds, and the short sleeves, 
and the whole wardrobe of ithe doll that had 'tumbled 
down beforie the mirror. They blushed too, now and 
then, upon an indistinctness in her speech, which the 
turned off with a girlish giggle, and on an occasional 
failing in her memory, that had no rule in it, bat came 
and went fantastically ; as if in mockery of her fan- 
tastic .self. .. 

But they never blushed upon a diange in flie new 
raaioner of her thoughtand speech towards her daughter. 
And though that daughter often came within their 

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h6 dombby and son 

ififldence, they never blttthed- upon her lovelifless 
irradiated by a smile, or softened by the fi^t of filial 
love, in its stem beauty. . ' 



. Chsipt«- XXXVUJ . 

MISS TOX IMPROVES AN OLD ACQUAINTANCE 

THE 6>rk>m Miss Tox, afaaadoned hjihet friend 
> Louisa Chutk, and bereft of Mr. Dombey's 
comtenimoe^— for no delicate, pair of wedding cards, 
usiited by a silver thready graced -the cfaimneyoglass 
in Princess's Place, or the harpstchoatd, or any of 
tho^ iittie posts of dispiay which Lucretia reserved 
for holiday otcup^tioni'^becanie depressed in her 
spirits, and sufi^ed-much .froiB Baelancholy. For 
a time the Bird Waltz was -m^ard in.. Princess's 
Place, the plants were neglected, and dost collected 
on the miniature of Miss Tox's ancestor with the 
powdered hekd and pigtail. , ' * 

Miss -Tox/ however, was^ot of amlge^or of a dis- 
position long to abandon herself to unaivailing regrets. 
Only two notes of .the harpsichord were dunibifrom 
disuse wHen the Bird Waltz again warbled aad/Ccilied 
in the crooked' drawing-room ; only one slip of gera- 
nium fell' a victim to imperfect nursings before she 
was gardening at her gre^n baskets again, regularly 
every mornings* the powdered-headed ancestor had 
not been-uhder a cloud for more than six weeksy when 
Miss Tox breathed on his benignant visage, and 
polished him up with a piece of wash^^kather. 

Still, Miss Tox was lonely, and at a loss. Her 
attachments^ however ludicrously shown, were real 

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DOMBBY AND SON 347 

and strong ; and she wMf as 8heex{ire88ed k, *^ deeply 
hurt by the unmerited cootamely sfte had met 1/1111 
from Loiiisa.^' Bat there ira* no sach thing as anger 
in Miss Tox V {Composition. If she had ambled on, 
through life, in her soft-spoken wavi ^mhout any 
opinions, she had, at least, got so'^mi' without any 
haT;^ passions. The mere s^t of Louisa Onck in 
the street one day, at a considerable distance^ 86 over^ 
powered her milky natui«, that she was fain to seek 
immediiite refugfe in a pasti'ycook's^ and (to>e, io 
a musty little back*rooth uflKially dented- to the 
consumption 6f soups, and piertsKled- by an o^i^tail 
atmosphere, relieye her feelings by weeping plenti- 
fully. 

Against Mr. Domb^y Miss Tox hardly felt that 
she had any reason* of 'comprint. Hct' sense of that 
gentleman'^s mslgtUficence was such, that once remoTed 
^om him, she feh as if her distance always had been 
immeasurable, atid as if he had greatly condescended 
in tolerating her at all. No wife could bd too hand- 
some or too stately for him, according to Miss Tox^s 
sincere opinion. It was peifectly natural dhat in look- 
ing for one, he should look high. Miss Tox with 
tears laid down this prc^xmtion, and fully admitted it, 
twenty times a day. She never recalled the lofty 
manner in which Mr« Dombey hdd mad<^ her- suIh 
sefrrient 'to his convenience and caprices, and had 
graciously permitted her to be one of the nurses of 
hfs little son. She only di^ught, in her own^wbrds^ 
^ that sheliad passed a great many happy hoilm^in that 
house, which she must ever remember with gradfica- 
oon, and that she could never cease to regard' Mr. 
Dombey as one of the most impressive and dignified 
of men. ' - 

Cut bfF, however, from the im]^Aciible Louisa^ and 

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348 OOMBEY ANP SKHI 

being shy of the Major (whom johe .viewed with some 
distrusttnolir). Miss Tax found it very irksome to 
know nothii^ <^ what wm going on in Mr. Donibey's 
establiDhwipnu And as she really had got^ intp.^e 
habit of considering Dombey and Son as the pivot on 
which ihe world in general turned, she resolvedt rather 
than he ignorant of intelligence, which so strongly 
interested her> to cultivate her, old acquaintance, Mr& 
Richards, who ahe kneWy, since her last memorable 
appearance before Mr. Dombey, was in the hatxt.of 
sometimes holding communication with his servants. 
Perhaps Miss Tox, in seeking out the Toodle fiunily, 
had the toid^ motive hidden in her kl^esLSt of having 
somebody to whom she could talk about Mr. Dombey, 
no matter how humble that somebody might be. 

At all events, towards the Toodle ha^tatiop Miss 
Tox directed her ^teps one evening, what time Mr. 
Toodle, cindery and swart, was refreshing hii^self 
with tea, in the bosom of his ^unily. Mr. Toodle 
had only three stages of existence. lie was either 
taking refreshment ia the bosom just mentioned, or 
he was. tearing through the. country at from twenty*- 
ftve to fifty n^es an hour, or he was sleeping after 
hi» fatigues* : He was always in a whirlwind or a 
calm, atid a peaceable, contentedi easy-going man 
Mr. Toodk was in either sta^, who. seemed to have 
made over all his own inheritance of fuming and 
fretting.' to the engines with which he was. connected, 
which panted^and gasped^and ^afed,and wore them- 
selves out, in . a mo^t unsparing manner, .wtitle Ifi, 
Toodle led; ya. mild. and equable lif<^ 

M PoUy, my. gal," said- Mr. Toodle, with a you^g 
Toodle. on each knee, and two more making tea for 
him, and plenty more scattered about — Mr. Toodle 
was iiever out of ^dren, but al^(^y%,kept a, good 

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DOMBBY AND SON 349 

8U]>piy"Oii hand — **Y^m an't «ecn our Biler Jatelyi 
have you ?*' ' 

<< No/' reified PoUy, ^bot he'^ ahaoAt certain to 
look iQ to-night It^8 his right evenings :and he's 
very regular/' 

<< I m^pose/' said Mr. Toodk, relishing hiriincd 
in€^telyy <*as our BUer is adoin' now dboQt as weU 
as a boynm do^eh, Polly ?'* 

** Oh ! he's a doing beautilul ! '^ responded Polly. 

<<He an't gbttso be at all 8ecret*like'^ha8 he, 
Polly^" inquired' Mr. Toodlc. 

«< No !'^ add Mrs. Toodle, plunfly. 

**Vm glad he an't got to be* at all aeciet-like^ 
Polly/' ^observed Mr.ToodleinhttsIow aadineasuced 
way, and shovelliag in his bread and butter with a 
clasp knifey as if he weie stoking himself, ^f becanae 
that don't look weU ; tdo it> Polly ? " 

'<'Why» of ^^oursb ft doo't^ iiithen How can you 
ask!" •• r . - . ,:. . 

«< You see, my boys asd gals," said Mr. Toodk, 
looking round upon his fimiDy, ^wotever you're up to 
ina honest WAy, it-s my opinion;aB voti can't do better 
than be open, if yon find yours«yes in cuttings or 
intudoek, don't you play no secret games. Keep 
y«m* whistieBgomgy and let's know where you 'are." 

The rising Toodles set up a shrill nnrmur, eacf* 
pi«8dye of their resoludon to profit by the. paternal 
^▼ice. -' ,.,.■: 

** But what makes you say this «long of Rols 
fklJief ? ". anked his wifey-anadonsly. 

«« PoUy, did '^ornani" said Mr. Toddle, « I danh 
know as I said it partickler along o' Rob, Vm sure« 
i starts ligiit with Rob only; I comes to a branch $ 
I takes of %hat I finds there ; and a whole tnuik<Qf 
ideas gets coupled on to him, afore I knows where I 

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sso DOM BBY AND «ON 

am* cr where tbey comet from/ What a JuodioB^ 
man's thoughu is," said Mr. Toodle, «<to*b&«iitl" 

This fr&ayi. reAectian Mr. Toodle wadied^own 
with a pot mug of tea, and proceed^ to ac^id^y vith 
a great weight of bread and butter ; chargj^ his yomg 
djra^httr^.meanwhde^ to keep plenty of hot water in 
t3ie poly as he was uocommoB diy, and should take 
the indefinite quantity of ** a tiig\ijof mi^a,^' More 
his thint was appeased* 

In MMfying.hiflMel^ howev€«y Mr. Toodk was 
not regardless of the you^er branthes abo«tt him, wboi 
although they hadtciadt thdr i^a^i evemng icpast, 
were oo tke look<K>ut for irregular iixM^lsy as possess- 
ing a rcMsfaL' .These he disoritsttted How and th^ to 
the expectant cin:ley;4»y holding out gceat wedges of 
hsead and butter, to befaitteA at by die family ialavfvl 
succession, and by sening OBt ,smaU xioaes of .tea m 
Hke nuamer with a ^loonf which saacks had such a 
relish in the mouths of these young Toodles, that, 
aiter parukkig of die safloie» they perfpnoed private 
dances of ecstasy among theniselYe%.aBd stood on one 
leg a-piece, and faoffied^ and indul^ «iv other sana- 
tory tokens nffladtttsa^' .Hiesevoits for their^- 
<tcement Ibuod; they gradna^y doted- afapnit Mc* 
Toodle again, and eyed him hard as he got duroi# 
more breadriaai batter andtea$;aiecting» howcrrer, 
to have no^fiurtherteiaKpeotalaflnS' of their own mi^ida- 
ence to those viands, out to be convo-sing on fiwr iedgn 
aabjectSi andiwhtsperiiig confideotidUy. ./ ,». 

Mr. Toodle, in the audstof ^ta iamiiy ^group^ sad 
sisttmg 2lh.awfid exaf&ple4» hi* childiieb io.tbe way 
of appetke, widB conveying the l;wo yoiing Toodbs on 
his kneea. to Birmingham by special engiat^^ mid was 
toaeempktalig thd jrest over a harfier.of Wad. M 
butler^ -when R<^ the Giioder, in hii sott'v 



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POMBEV ANA SON S$f 

and jnpucpiilg 4op«»,.pr68eBted himaelfy tnd WM 
received wit^ a, general tush of brothera abd siiterAi 
«« Well> mother I" «aid Rob, diitifiiUy kiamg her ; 
**liQN;r ar&vt>U|.motlierf" / ./, 

««. Tb«re^s.fny boy I " cried BoUy, giving )uin « lwig» 
ai%(i a pat op the. back. . ^* Seccet .1 Blesa you» fatK^t 
not he ! " 

rrbiAiWaa intend«d for Mr* Toodle'a private edifi- 

catioB, but Rob tbe Grinder, wbpee vitbera were 

not vinwriing, caugbt tbe woNk aa (bey were $poken. 

** Wbxu! Other's been a saying someChingnraic 

again me^ hsuM*' cried tbe. injured jonooeim. iV Oh, 

1^2^ .a hacd thii^rit is diai(jrbe»a cove has ence 

gone a Ht^lci.wrong, a cove's own ^ith^r should be 

al^K^8 A throwing it in his face behind his back I 

It'jBi e9ough»- oied Rob, resorting. t» his: coafe-cnff 

in anguish dFspiDt,^^ to^make a.£<wego^nd do joine* 

thipg oiit-of.8pite>! *' .. 

f*My poor toy*!" cried iPolly, « father didn't 
meaa»anj^hi«g,?- . . > 

«« If father, didn't' mean; auythtng^" blubbered the 
in JQced Griajg^ec, f< wliy did he gor Wi say anyiihing, 
motheri ,Nobody thinka half ao badxv me as my 
own fjithef doea* What, a * unliatsurtl thing 1 I 
t^iflh somebody 'd. ts^e sand chop my head otf.* 
Father wo^ldbt .miiKl doing. it^ I beiieye, and I'd 
much' rather he did that thaa t'^otber.". r, 

AitJkttK. desperate wocds all thb young Ttfodles 
ahrieked ; a pathetic effect, which the Grbder itan 
ptdved by. ironically ad jiffisg then not to cry for 
him, for diey ought to hate lunv they ought, if th^ 
wai good hoys and girls; and tbia so touched. tthe 
youngest Toodli^bttt ohe, who was easily raovisd^ 
that it touched him not only in hit spirit but in his 
wind too ; makinghim so purple diat Mr. Toodle 

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SfB DOMMSY AND ^SON 

in coMt erm tioP' carried him oHt to tfae ^ratcr^ntt, 
«k1 mrakl hxwt pot him under the tap, bnt fer liii 
being r ec o fcred hf the sight of that inttt^miiedL 

Matters having reachnl this pcrint, Mr, Toodk 
explained, and the virtooaB feefingsof liis son here- 
by being cafaned, they shook handsy aid batsMoy 
reigned again. 

<« Will yqo do as I do, Biter, my boy ?^* impdrcd 
his fitther, vetoming to his tea widi new strengtii. 

«<No, thank'ee, father. Master and I had tea 
together* 

<« And how sr master, Rob ? " said Fblly. 

«^ Well, I don't kiowy mothtp $ net mnch to 
boast on* There ain't no bis'nsss done^ yon see. 
He don't know anything aboM it^^the Oip'en don't 
Vbae was a man come into the shop this yeiy'dsj, 
and says, * I wapfe a so-and-so,' he says — s6me hard 
name or another. * A which ? ' says the Cap'eo. 
* A so-and-so,' says the man. * Bother,' ssAys die 
Cap' en, * will you take a observation round the sIm^^' 
< Well,' says th^num^<rve done it.^* <Doyoa 
see wot yon want?' siqra the Capped. *ih^ I 
don't,' sj^sthe man. *Do yon know it wen yon 
do see itr' km the Cap^en. <No, I don't/ sap 
the man. * Why, then I t^ you wot, my lad/ 
says the Caj^en, ^.yoa'd better go back and ask 
wot's it's like, ootside; fer< no more don't 11"' 

« That ain't thb way to make money, tlikigh, is 
itr"saidPoUy. 
. << Money^motiievt He'fl never make money. He 
has sttch ways as I sever see. He an't a hkd master 
though, rU say that f6r him. But that an't mnch to 
me, for I don't diink I shall stop-with him long." 

^* Not stop in your- place, Rob ! " cried his 
mother ; ^hUe Mr. Toodle opensd his eyes; 

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DOMBEY AMD SON 353 

** Not in that place, p'rape^" retiirned the Grinder, 
with a wink. ** I shouldn't wonder-— friends at 
court you know — ^but never you mind, mother, just 
now; I'm all right, that's all." 

The indisputable proof afforded in these hints, and 
in the Grinder's mysterious manner, of his not bei^g 
subject to that foiling which Mr. Toodle had, by 
implication, attributed to him, might have led to a 
renewal of his wrongs, and of die. sensation in the 
family, but for the opportune arrival' of another 
visitor, who, to Polly's great surprise, appeared at the 
door, smiling patronage and' friendship on all there. 

** Aow do you do, Mrs. Richards I '* said Miss 
Tox. •* I have come to see you. May I come in ? " 

The cheery face of Mrs. Rkhardd shone with a 
hospitable reply, and Miss Tox, accepting the prof* 
fered chair, and gracefully recognising Mr. Toodle 
on her way to it, untied her bonnet strings, and said 
that in the first place she must beg the dear children, 
one and all, to come and kiss' her. 

The ill-starred youngest Toodle but one, who 
would appeai", from the frequency of his domestic 
troubles, to have been bom under an unlucky planet, 
was prevented from performing his part in this 
general salutation by having fixed the sou'wester hat 
(with which he had been previously trifling) deep 
on his head, hind-side befbre, and being unable to 
get* it off again ; which accident presenting to his 
terrified imagination a dismal picture of his' 'passing 
the rest of his days in darkness, and in hopeless 
seclusion from his friendis and family^ caused him to 
struggle with gi*eat violence, and to utter suffocating 
cries. Being released, his fece was discovered to be 
very hot, and red, and damp ; and Miss Tox took 
him on her lap, much exhausted. : 

II. A A 

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554 DOMBEY AND SON 

** You have almost forgotten me, sir, I dare say," 
said Miss Tox to Mr. Toodle. 

" No, ma'am, no," said Toodle. , " But we've 
all on us got a little older since then." 

" And how do you find yourself, sir ? " inquired 
Miss Tox, blandly. 

" Hearty, . n^'am, thank'ee," replied Toodle. 
" How do you find ^«/rself, ma'am \ Do the rheu- 
matics keep off pretty well, ma'am \ We must all 
expect to grow into 'em, as we gets on." 

"Thank you," said Miss Tox.* "I have not 
felt any inconvenience from that disorder yet." 

" You're wery fortunate, ma'am," returned Mr. 
Toodle* ** M^ny people at youf time of lift^ 
ma'am, is martyrs to it. There was my mother 

" But catching his wife's eye here, Mr. 

Toodle judiciously buried the rest in another mug 
of tea. 

** You never mean to say, Mrs. Richards," cried 
Miss Tox, looking at Rob, " that that is your-: ." 

« Eldest, ma'am," said Polly. "Yes, indeed, it 
is. That's the litt;le fellow, ma'am, that was the 
innocent cause of so much." 

" This here, ma'am," said Toodle, ".is him with 
the shcM*t legs — and they was," said Mr. Xoodle, 
with a touch of poetry in his tpne, " unusual short 
for leathers — as Mr. Dombey made a Grinder on." 

The recollection ahnost cfverpowered Miss Tox. 
The subject, of it had a peculiar interest for her 
directly* She asked him to. shake hands, aiid con- 
gratulated his mother on his frank, ingenuous fac^. 
Rob, overhecuripg her, called up a look, ;to justify 
the eulogium, but it was hardly tb^ right look. 

" And now, Mrs* Richard^" said Miss Tox, — 
" and you too, sir," addressing Toodle — " I'll tell 



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DOMBEY AND SON 355 

yoUy plainly and trulyy what I have come here for. 
You may be aware, Mrs. Richards — and, possibly, 
you Aiay be aware too, sir~r-that a little distance has 
interposed itself between m^.and some of my friends, 
and diat wjier^ I. used to visit a good deal, I do 
not visit now." 

PoUy, who, with a woman's tact, understood 
this at once, expressed as much in a litde look, Mr. 
Toodle, who had not the fain^^st idea of what Miss 
Tox was talking about, expresse4 that also» in a 
8tare« 

" Of course," said Miss Tox, " how our litde 
cocdoess has arisen is, of no moment, and does not 
require to be discussed. It is sufficient .for me to 
say, that I have the great^ possible respect ifor,. and 
interest in, Mr. Dombeyj;" Miss Tox's voice 
faltered ; ^* and everything dbat relates to him." 

Mr. Toodle, enlightened, shook his head, and 
said he had heerd ,it said, and, for his own part, he 
did think, as Mr. Dombey was a difficult subject. 

** Pray don't say so, sir, if you please," returned 
Miss Tox. *^' Let me entreat ,you not to say so,, 
sir, either now^t or at any future time. Such observa- 
tions cannot but be very p^ful to me, and to a 
gendeman, whose mind is constituted as, I am quite 
sure, yours is, can afcH'd no permanent satisfaction." 

Mr. Toodle, who h^ not entertained the least 
doubt of offering a remark that lyguld be received 
with acqmeicence, was gready comounded. 

** Ail tliat I wish to say, Mrs. Richards," re- 
sumed Miss Tox,'r-"and I address myself to you 
too, sir, — ^is this. That any intelligence of the 
proceedi^s of the family, of the welfare of the 
family, of the health of the family, that reaches you, 
will be always most acceptable to me. That I 

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S56 DOMBBY AND SON 

shall be always very glad tx> chat with Mrs^ Richards 
about the family, and about old times. And as 
Mrs. Richards and I never had the least difFerence 
(though I could wish how diat we had been better 
acquainted, but I have no one but myself to blame 
for that), I hope she will not object to our being 
very good friends now, and to my coming backwarcb 
and forwards here, when I like, without being a 
stranger. Now, I really hope, Mrs. Richards^" 
said Miss Tox, earnestly, ^ that you will take this, 
as I mean it, like a good-humoured creature, as you 
always were." 

Folly was gratified, attd showed it. Mr. Toodle 
didn't know wh^er he wasf gratified or not, and 
pres^i^ed a stolid calmnesn^* ' 

« You sefe, Mrs. Richards," said Nfiss Tox— 
" and I hope you see too, sir— ^there arc 'many little 
ways iti which I can be slightly useful to you, if you 
will make no stranger of me ; and in which I shall 
be deligKted to be so. Fot instance, I can teach 
your children something.^ I shall bring a few little 
books, if youtl allow me, and some work, and of an 
evening now and then, they'll^ kam—^dear tne, 
they^ll learn a great deal, I trusty- a^ be a credit to 
th^ir teacher." = 

Mr. Toodle, who had a great respect for learn- 
ing, jerked his ' head a^^rovmgly at his wife, and 
moistened his h^ds widi dawning sattsfacdon. 

** Then, not being a stranger, I shall be in no- 
body's wiay," said Miss Tox, ** and everything will 
go on, just as if I were not here* Mrs. Richards 
will do her mending, or her ironing^^or her Aursing, 
whatever it is^ without minding me; and 3roar'll 
smoke 'your pipe, too, if you're so< disposed, air, 
won't you? '* 



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DOMBBY ANP SON 357 

♦« Thank'ee^ mum/' said Mr. Toodle. « Yee 5 
I'll take my bit of backer/' 

** Vcrjf good of you to Bay so, sitj" rejoined Miss 
T0X9 ** and I really do assure yon now, unfeigDedlyy 
thAt it will be a great comfort to me« and that what- 
eref good I may be fortunate enough to do the 
children^ you will more than pay back to me, if 
you'll enter into thialittle. bargain comfortably,, and 
easily, and good-naturedly, without another word 
about it." ,. 

The bargain was ratified on the spot ; and Misi 
Tox found herself so much at home already, that 
without deby she instituted a preliminary examiaa^ 
tion of the children, all round — which Mr. Toodle 
much admtr«id-^and booked their ages^ names, and 
acquii;ementi8» on a {Hece of paper* This ceremoi^, 
and ^ little ftttend^nit gosinp, prolonged the lime until 
a^er their usual hour of going to bed» and detained 
Miss Tox at the Toodle fireside until it was too late 
for her. to walk home alone^ The gallant Grinder, 
however, being still there, politely ofered to attipndher 
to her owndoor^ aqd as it wap something to Miss 
Tox to be seen home by a youth whom Mr. Dombey 
had first inducted into those manly garments which 
are rarely mentioned by name, she very ceadily 
accepted the pcofiosal* 

After shaking hands with Mr. Toodle and Fpjly, 
andwkissing aU the children. Miss Tqx left the 
house» therefore, with unlimited popularity, ,, and 
carrying away with her so light a heart.icha^ it n^ij^t 
have given Mrs. Chick offence if, that good lady 
could have wei^ied it. 

Rob the iGrinder,, in his modesty, would have 
walked behind^ but Miss Tox desired him to keep 
betide her,^ for conversational, purposes ; andt.as she 

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35$ DOMBEY AND SON 

afterwards expressed it to his mother^ ** drew him 
out/' upon the road. 

He drew out so bright, and clear, and shimng, 
that Miss Tox was charmed with him. The more 
Miss Tox drew him out, the finer he came — ^like 
wire. There never was a better or more promising 
youth — ^a more affectionatei steady, prudent, sober, 
honest, meek, candid young man— dian Rob drew 
out, that night. 

" I am quite glad," said Miss Tox, arrived at 
her own door, •* to know you. I hope you'll con- 
sider me your friend, and that you'll com^ and see 
me as often as you like. Do you keep a money- 
box?" 

** YcNj, rtia'am," returned Rob'; <*I'm saving up, 
against I've got enough to put in the baflk, ma'am." 

« Very laudable indeed," said Miss Tox. « I'm 
glad to 'hear it. Put this half-crown into it, if you 
please." 

<* Oh thank y6u,' ma'am," replied Rob,' " but 
really I couldn't think' of depriviing ydu." - 

*• I comme^ your independent spirit," said Miss 
Tox, *<but it's no deprivation, I assure you. I 
shall be offended if you don't take it, as a mark of 
my good will. Good night, Robin." 

** Good night, ma'am," said Rob, ** and thank 
you!" 

Who ran sniggering 00* to get change, and tossed 
it away with a piemati. But they nett^f taught 
hcttKHir at the Grindert' School, wherfe the system 
that prevailed was particularly strong in the en- 
gendering of hypocrisy. Insomuch, that many of 
the frieiKis and masters of -past Grinders siaid, if 
this were what came of education for the common 
people, let us hav^ none. Some^ more rational seud. 

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DOMBEY AND SON 359 

let us have a better one* But the governing powers 
of the Grinder's Company were always ready for 
thenty by picking out a few boys who bad tnmed out 
well in spite of the syBtem, and roundly asserting 
that they cotdd have only tamed out well because of 
it. Which settled the business of those objectors 
out of handy and established the glory of the 
Grinders* Institution. 



Chapter XXXIX. 

rURTHER ADVENTURES OP CAPTAIN EDWARD CUTTLE, MARINER 

TIME, sure o£ foot and strong of will, had so 
, pressed onward, that the year enjoined by 

the old instrnment-makery as the term during which 
his friend shduld refrain from openmg the sealed 
packet accompanying the letter he had left for him, 
was now nearfy expired, and Captain Cuttle began 
to look at it, <if an evenings with feelings of mystery 
and uneasiness. > 

The Captain^ in his honour, would as soon have 
thought of opening. the parcel one hour before the 
expiration of the term^ as he would have thought of 
opening himself, to study his own anatomy. He 
merely brought it out, at a certain stage of his first 
evening pipe, laid it on the table, and sat gazing at 
the outside of it, through the smoke, in silent gravity, 
for two or three hours at a spell. Sometimes, when 
he had contemplated it thus for a pretty long while, 
the Captain would hitch his chair, by degrees, far- 
ther and farther odP, as. if to get. beyond the range of 
its fascination; but if .diis:Were his desigu^ he never 

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36o DOMBEY AND SON 

succeeded : fior even when he was brought up 1^ the 
parlour wall^ the packet still attracted him; or if his 
eyet^ in thoughtfiu wandering, roved to the ceSiijgor 
the fire» its image iounediately followed, and poitod 
itself CQOspicuoualy among the coals, or took up aa 
advantageous position on the whitewash. 

In respea of Heart's IXelight, ,the Captm'f 
parental regard and admiration knew no chai^& 
but since his last interview with Mr. Carker, Cap- 
tain Cutde had come to enteruin doubts whether ius 
former intervention in behalf of that young lady sod 
his dear boy Wal'r, had proved altogether so favour- 
able as he couki have wished,' and as he at the time 
believed. The Captain was troubled with a serious 
misgiving that he had done more harm than good, in 
short ; and in his remorse and modesty he noade the 
best atonement he could think of, by putting himself 
out of the way of doing anyhann to any one, and as 
It wereV'throwing himself overboard for a dangeroos 
person. 

Self-buried, Uiereibre, among the mstnmientii, the 
Captain nevl^r went near Mr. Domfoey's house, or 
reported himself in any way to Florence or Miss 
Nipper. He even severed himself firom Mr. Perch, 
on the ocbasion of his next! visit, isy dry4y informing 
that gentleman, that he thanked him for his company, 
but had cut himself adrift fronf all such acquaintance, 
as he didn't know what magazine he mightn't blow 
up, without meaning of it. In this self-imposed re- 
tirement, the Captain passed whole days and weeks 
without interchanging a word with any one but Rob 
the Grinder, whom he esteemed as a pattern of dis- 
interested, attachment and ^delity. In this retire- 
ment, the Captain, gazing at the packet of an evening, 
would sit smoking, and thinking of Florence and poor 



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DOMBEY AMD SON 361 

Walter, until they both seemed to his homely ffadcy 
to be deady and to have pasted away into eternal 
youtfafy the beailti&l and imiocent oluldren of his first 
remonbrancek ' 

The Captain did no^ however^ in his musings, 
neglect his own improvement, or the mental kukiire 
oi Rob the Grinder. That yOung man was gener- 
sdly required to read out' oiF some book to the 
Captain, for one hour every evening f and 'as the 
Captain impUcitly belkved that all books were tme, 
he accumulated, 'by this means^ many remarkable 
facta. On Sunday nights^ the Captain always read 
for himself, before > going to bed, a certain Divine 
Semxm ooce delivered on a Mount ; ' and although 
he was accustomed to qnoto the text, without book, 
after fai»own<nlanner, he -appeared tb read 'it with- is 
reverent an understandmg of its heavenly sjnrit^ as if 
he had got it all by heact in Gr^ek, and had.^ bee^ 
able to write any number o£ fierce theobgicd dis* 
qnisitions on. its every phrase. 

Rob the Grinder, miiose reverence for the inspired 
writings, undec thei admirable syBtenb'of the Grindersf 
School, had ' been developed by a perpetual bruising 
o£ his intellectual .^lins against aU' the proper names 
of all. the tribes of Judah, and by the monotonous 
repetition of hard verses, Specially by way of 
punishment, and by the 'parading of him at iix years 
old in leather breeches^ three times^ a Sunday, very 
high. up,. in a very hot church, with a griaat organ 
buzzmg against his drowsy heady like an exceedingly 
busy bee — Rob the Grinder made a mighty show of 
being edified when the Captain ceai^^ to read, and 
generally yawned and .nodded while the reading was 
in progress^ - The latter fact being never so much as 
suspected by the good Captain. 

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362 DOMBEY AND SON 

Captain Cuttle also, as a man of basiness, took to 
keeping books. In these he entered observations on 
the weather, and on the currents of the waggons^ and 
other vehicles ; which he observed, in- that quarter, 
to set westward in the morning and during the greater 
rart.of the day, and eastward towards the evening. 
Two or three stragglers appearing in one week, who 
*^ spoke him "— «4o the Captain entered it — on .the 
subject of spectacles, and who, without poatively 
purchasing, said they would look in again, the 
Captain decided that the businessivas improving^ and 
made an entry, in the day-book to that c^kctz the 
wind then blowing (which he first recorded) pretty 
fresh, west and by north ; having changed in the night. 

One of the CaptaiH^s duef dif&aahies was Mr. 
Toots, who called frequendy, and who. without say- 
ing much seemed to have an idea that the Httle back- 
parlour wat an eligible room to- chuckle in> as he 
would sit'smd avail himself of its accommodations in 
that regard by the half-hour together^ without at all 
advancing in intimacy with, the Captain. - The 
Captain, rendered cautious by his- late experience, 
was unable quite to satisfy his mind whether -Mr. 
Toots was the mild subject he appeared to be, or was 
a pcofbundly artful and dissimulating hypocrite. His 
frequent reference to Miss Dombey was susmoBus ; 
but the Captain had a secret kindness for Mr. Toots's 
apparent reliance on him, and forbore to decide 
against hiip for the present ; merely eyeing him, with 
a sagacity not to be described, whenever he sqiproached 
tho/subjectthat was nearest to his heart. 
> " Captam Gills,*' blurted out Mr. Toots, one day 
all at once, as his manner was, ^< do you- think you 
could think ^vourably of that proposition of mine, and 
give me the pleasure of your acquaintance ? *' 

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DOMBEY AND SON 363 

** Why, I tell you wh*l it is, my lad," replied 
the Captain, who had at length bcmcluded on a 
coarse of action ; '< I've been t\irning that there, 
over." 

<< Captain Gills, it's very kind of you," retorted 
Mr. Toots. ^^I'm much obliged to -you. Upon 
my word and honotor. Captain Oills, ft would be a 
charity to give me the pimure of your acquaintance. 
It really would." 

** You see, brother," argued the Captain slowly, 
** I don't know you." 

* *^But you never can know me. Captain Gills," 
replied Mr. Toots, steadfast to his point, '^if you 
dcm't give me the pleamire of your acquaintance." 

The Captain seemed' struck by the originality and 
poWer of tiuB remark, and looked at Mr« Toots as 
if he thought there was a great deal more ia him 
than he had expected. . 

** Well said, my lad," observed the Captain, nod- 
ding his head thoughtfully; *^and true. Now 
look'ee hiae : you've, made some observattonsto me^ 
which gives me to understand as you admire a cer- 
uin sweet creetur. Hey ? " 

«* Captain Gills," said Mr, Toots, gesticulating 
violently with the hand in which he held his hat, 
«< admiration is not the word. Upon my honour, 
you have nor conception what myfeelings are. • If I 
could be dyed black, and made Miss Dombey's 
slave, I should consider itia compliment. If, at the 
sacrifice of all my property, I could get transmigrated 
into Miss Dombey's dog-^I^-I rewy think I should 
never leave off wagging raf tail. I should he so 
perfectly happy. Captain Gills ! " 

Mr. Toots said it with vratefy eyes, and pressed 
his hat against his bosom with deep emotion. 

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|64 DOM BEY AND SON 

^ My lad," retorned the Captain^ nioted to com- 
pasnon, ** if ycm^re in arnest *' 

** Captain Gills,'' cried Mn Toots, <« I'm m such 
a state of mind, and am so dreadfnily in earnest, that 
if I coold swear to it upon a hot piece of iron, or a 
live coal, or mdted lead, or burning sealing-wax, or 
anything of that sort, I dxynki be gkd to ^urt 
myself, as a rdief to my ^selings.'' And Mr. Toou 
looked hurriedly aboot the room, as if for some 
sufficiently painfid means of accomplishing his di^ead 
purpose. 

The Ca4itain puriied his glazed hat back updn his 
head, stroked his £icc down with his heavy haad-^ 
making his nose more mottled in the jHt>ces8 — ^and 
planting himself before Mr.- Toots, and hooking him 
by the lappel of his cbat, addressed Um in these 
wofdi^* whfle Mr. Toons looked up into his face, 
with much attention and some Ivonder; 

** If you're in arnest, yoii sec, my bd," said the 
Captam, ** you're a objectof ckmcncy, and clemency 
is die br^htest. jewel in the} crown of a Briton's head, 
for which you'll orerhaul the constitntion, as lud 
down in Rule Britannia, and, when firand, tifot is 
the charter as them garden angels was a smging of, 
so many times oTcr. Stand by 1 This here pro- 
posal o' your'n takes me a little aback* ;t And why? 
Because I hokis my lowil only, you understand, in 
these here waters, and hftven't got no consort, and 
may be don't wish for^none. Steady 1 You hailed 
me first, along of a certain young lady, as you was 
chartered by.- iiow. if you atod md is td keep one 
another's com|^y at ally that there young creetor's 
name must never be named nor referred to. I 
don't know what harm mayn't have been doxi^:by 
naming of it too free, afore now, and' thereby I 

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liOMBBY AND SON 365 

brings up short. » D'ye make me out pretty clear, 
brother?" 

« Well, you^ excuse me, Captain Gills,** replied 
Mr. Toots, " if I don't quite follow you sometimes. 
But upon my word I-7-it*s a hard thing, Captain 
Gills, not to be able Co mention Mies Dombey. I 
really hare -got such a dreadfid load here ! '* — Mr. 
Toots pathetically touched his shirisfront with both 
hands — « that I feel night and day, exactly as if 
somebody was ntting upon me." 

*• Them," said the Captain, « is the terras I offer.' 
If they're hard up6n you, brother, as mayhap they 
are, give 'em a wide berth, sheer off, and part com- 
pany cheerily ! " 

«* Captain Gills," returned' Mr. ToOts, « I hardly 
know how it is, but after what you told me when I 
came here, for the' first time, •! — I feel 'tJiat I'd 
rather think about Miss Dombey in your society than 
talk about'her in almost anybody else's. Therefore, 
Captain Gills, if you'll give me the pleaiMre of your 
acquaintance, I^shi^l be very happy to accept it on 
your own condttions. I Wish to be honourable. 
Captain Gills," said Mr. Tootsy holding back his' 
extetkded band for a moment, " and therefore I am 
obliged to say that I can not help thinking about Miss 
Dombey. It's impossible for me to make a promise 
not to think about her." 

<^My lad," said the Captain, whose opinion of 
Mr. Toots was much improved by this can!^ avoWal, 
**SL man's thoughts is 'like the wiiids, and nobody 
ean't answer for 'em for certain, any length of time 
together. Is it a treaty as to words I " 

«Ab to words. Captain GiUs/' returned 'Mr. 
Tdots, *^ I think I can bind myself." 

Mr. Toots gave Captain Cuttle his hand upon it. 

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366 DOMBEY AND SON 

then and there ; and the Captain, with a pleasant 
and gracious show of condescension, bestowed his 
acquaintance upon him formally. Mr. Toots seemed 
much relieved and gladdened by the acquisition^ and 
chuckled rapturously during the remainder of his 
visit. The Oiptain, for his part, was not ill pleased 
to occupy that position ,of patronage, and was 
exceedingly well satisfied by his own prudence and 
foresight. 

But rich as Captain Cuttle was in the latter quality, 
he received a surprise that same evening ^om a no 
less ingenuous and simple youth, than Rob the 
Grinder. That artless lad, drinking tea at the same 
table, and bending meekly over his cup and saucer, 
having taken -sideloqg observations of his master for 
some time, who was reading the newspaper with great 
difficulty, but much dignity, through his glasses, 
broke silence by saying — r, ; 

>*Oh! I beg your pardon, Captain, but you 
mayn^t be in want of any pigeons, may you, sir ? " 

** No, my lad," replied the Captain. 

<< Because I was washing to dispose of mine. 
Captain," said RoU 

/< Ay, ay ? " cried the Captain, lifting i^p his bushy 
eyebrows a little. 

** Yes ; I'm going. Captain, if you please," said 
Rob. 

" Going ? Where are you gomg ? " . asked the 
Captain, looking round at him over the glasses. 

^* What ? didn't you know that I was going ta 
leave you. Captain ? " asked Rojb^ with a sneaking 
smile. 

The Captain pvt down the paper, took off his 
spectacles, and brought his eyes to bear on the 
deserter. • 



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DOpyi^EY AND SON 367 

<< Oh yes. Captain, I am going to giine you warn- 
ing. I thought you'd have known that beforehand, 
perhaps," said Rob, nibbing his hands, and gjetting up. 
" If you could be so good as provide yourself soon. 
Captain, it would be a great convenience to me. 
You couldn't provide yourself by to-morrow morning, 
I 9fa afraid. Captain ; could you, do you .ihink ^ " 

" And you're a going to dcs^t your colours are 
you, my lad ? " said the Captain, After a long ex- 
amination of his' &ce. 

** Oh, it's very tard upon a cove, Captain,'' cried 
the tender Rob, injuj*ed and indignant in a moment, 
*^that he fan'tgive lawful warning, without being 
frowned at in that way, and called a deserter* You 
haven't any right to call a poor cove nasies. Captain. 
It an't because I'm a servant and . you're a master, 
that you're to go and libel me. What wrong have 
I done ? Come, Captain, let me know what my 
crime is, will you ? " 

The stricken Grinder wept, and p«t his coat-cuff 
in his eye. 

** Come, Captain," cried the injured youth, ^*give 
my crime a name 1/ What have I been and- done? 
Have I stplen any of the pro))erty ? Have I <et the 
house afire i If I have, why don't you giif>e me in 
charge, and try it? But to take away the chai^acter 
of a lad that's been a good servant to you, because 
he can't afford to stand in his own light for your 
good, what a injury it. is, and what 'a bad return for 
faithful service 1 This is the way young coves is 
K>iled and drove wrong. I wonder at you. Captain, 
I do." 

All of which the Grinder howled forth in a 
lachrymose whine, and backing carefully towards the 
door. 

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}68 DOMBEY AND SON 

*< And 80 you've got another berth, have you, my 
lad ? " said the Captain, eyeing him intently. 

** Yes, Captain, since you put it in that shape, I 
have got another berth," cried Rob, backing more 
and more ; ** a better berth than I've got here, and 
one where I don't so much as want your good word, 
Capudn, which is fbrt'nate for me, aifter all the dirt 
you've throw'd at me, because I'm poor, and can't 
afford to stand (n my own light for your good. Yes, 
I have got another berth ; and if it wasn't for leav- 
bg yoii unprovided. Captain^ I'd go to it now, sooner 
than I'd take them names from you, because I'm 
poor, and can't afford to stand in my own light for 
your good. Why do you -reproach me for being 
poor, and not standing in my own light for your 
good. Captain ? How can you so demean yourself ? " 

** Look ye here, my boy," replied the peaceful 
Captain, /< don't you pay out no more of them 
words." 

" Well, tbcHj don't you pay in no more of your 
words. Captain," retorted the roused innocent, get- 
ting louder in his whine, and backing into the shop. 
"I'd sooner you iook my blood than my character." 

** Because, pursued the Captain calmly, **you 
have heerd, maybe, df such a thing as a rope's end." 

" Oh, have I though. Captain ? *^ cried the taunt- 
ing. Grinder. •*No I haven't. I never heerd of 
any such a article." 

"Well," said the Captain, "it's my belief as 
you'll know more about it pretty soon^ if you don't 
keep a bright look-out. I can read your signals, my 
lad. You may go." 

^ Oh ! I may go at once, may I, Captain ? " 
cried* Rob, exulting in his success. "But mind ! / 
never asked to go at once. Captain. You are not to 

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JCKOiABEy AND. SON 369 

take away my character again, because you tend me 
off of yooi^ bwn accord*. And you're not to stf^ any 
o£«my wage9» Captainl ** 

Hb employer 'fliettled jthe last point by producing 
the tin caniatei: and telliiw the Grinder's money out 
in lull ttpoir the table. Hob, snivelUng and sobbing, 
and grievously wounded in Jiis £eeiin^Sy:took up tht 
pieces ooe by one, with a sob and' a snivel for each, 
and tied them up separately in knots in hitf pocket* 
h^mdkerchief ; then he ascended to the roof of the 
house and .filled hia hat and. pockets with pigeons; 
then» came dd^nm to his bed under the counter and 
nuhde up fai^ bundle, saiii elling and sobbing louder, 
as if he were cut to the heart by old associations ; 
then he whined, <^ Good mght. Captain. I kave 
yo9ib:withott^ malice ! " and then, going out upon the 
dotor-step, puUed the litde Midshipman's nosras a 
parting indignity^ and went away. down the street 
grinning triumph* 

The Captain,, left to himself^ sceumed his perusal 
of the news a& if nothiagi unuaaal or unexpected had 
taken plac^ and went reading on with the greatest 
assidpity^ ' But never a word did Captain Cuttle 
understands though he tead avast number, for .'Rob 
the^. Grinder was scampering up one coiumii.and 
down another idl through the nbwspaper. 

J It is doubtful, whether the worthy Captain ha4 
ever fek'himsetf quite abandoned until now; 'but 
now* old Sol Gills, Walter, and Heart's Delight 
were lost to him indeed^ and now Mr* Carker de«- 
ceived and jeered him cruelly* They were all 
represented in the false Rob, to whom he had held 
forth many a time on the. recollections that wei^. 
warm within him; he had believed in the false Rob, 
^d hs4 been gbd to believein him; he had mp&ea 

II. B B 

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S70 1X»CBEY AND SOU 

companioa of him asthe last of theoid sfa^'sc 
lie had taken the commaad of the Ihtle MiiUiqwnan 
with him at his right hand ; he had meant to do his 
dnty by him, aod had idt afaaost as kindly towaids the 
boy as if they had been ahipwrecked and cast iqnn a 
desert place togedicr. And now, that the &lse Rob 
had brought, distrust, tfeacheiy, and meanness into 
the yery parlour, which was a kind of sacred place. 
Captain Cutde felt as if the parlour mig^t have gone 
down next, and not anrprised him much by its sink- 
ing, or given him any; very great conc^n. 

Therefore Captain Cotde read the ne wspap er 
with profoBod attention and no- comprehension, and 
therc&ffc Captain Cuttle said nothing whatever about 
Rob to himself or admitted to hhaself that he was 
thinking about him, or would recognise in the moot 
distant manner that Rob had anythmg to do with 
his feeling as lonely m Robinson Crusoe* 

In the same composed, business-like way, the 
Captsun stepped oiver to Leadef^l Market in the 
dusk, and eflected an arrapgemmt with a private 
watchman on duty there, to come add ^t up and 
take down the shutters of the wooden Midshipman 
every night and morning. He then called in at the 
eatbg*house to diminish by one half the daily rations 
theretofore suf^lied tothe Midshipman, and at the 
JMiblio*hou8e to stopthe traitor's beer. ^* My young 
man/' said the Captain, in explanatiicm tothe young 
lady at the bar; *f my young man having bettered 
himself, miss." Lastly, the Captain resolved to 
take possession of the bed under the counter, and to 
turn-in there o' nights instead of up stairs; a» sole 
goaidian of the property. 

.. From this b^ Captain Cuttle daily I'dse thence- 
forth,, and clapped on his glased hat at six o^dock 

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DOMBEY AND SON 371 

in die morning, with the solitary air of Cnnoe finish- 
ing his toilet with his goat^skin cap ; and although 
his fears of a visitation from die savage tribe, 
MacStinger, were somlewhat cooled, As similar 
apprehensions on the part of that lone mariner used 
to be bythe^kpse of « long interval without any 
symptoms of the camnbals, he still observed a 
regular routine of defensive operations, and never 
encofuntered. a bonnet without previous survey from 
his castle! of retreat. In the meantime (during which 
he received no call fix)m Mr. Toots, who wrote to 
say he wks out of. town) bis^own voice began to have 
a strange sound ^i bis ears ; and he acquired such 
habils of profound meditation from much polishing 
and sto«<ing away of the stock, and from much 
ntting behimi the ebunter reading, <fr looking out of 
window, that the red rim made on his forehead by 
the hard glazed > hat^ sometimes ached again with 
excess of refleclton. 

The year being, now expired, Captain Cuttle 
deemed it expedient to open die packet ; but as' he 
had always designed doing this ^ in the presehce of 
Rd> the Gfiifder, who had brtyc^t it to* him, and 
as he had an idea that it woi]M be regular and shi|]K 
shape to open it in die'preseilce of somebody, he 
was sadly put to: it for waAt of a witness. In this 
dkliculty, he hailed one day with unusual delight the 
announcement in the Shipping intelligence of the 
arrival of the Cautious Clara, Captain John Bunsby, 
fh)m a coasting voyage; and to that philosopher 
immediately despatched a letter by pfiist^ enjoining 
inviolable secrecy as' to his place of residence, and 
requesting to be favoured widi an early vi^t, in the 
evening season. 

Bunsby, who was (me of those sag^s who actf upon 

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37« DOMBBY AND SON 

conTiction^ took aome days to get the conyiction 
thoroi^hly into his mmdi that lie had received a 
letter to this e^Tect. But' when he had grappled 
with the feet, and mastered it, he promptly sent his 
boy with the message, *^ He's a comii^ to-night." 
Who being instructed to delirer ^ose words and 
disappear^ fulfilled his mission like s tarry ^ttrit^ 
charged with a mysfeerions warnings ^ - 

. The Captain, well pleased to receive h^ made 
flreparatton of pipes and. rum and water, and awaited 
his vintor in the back-parlour. At tlie how of 
eight, a deep lowing, as of a nautseal bull, outside 
the shop-door, succmied by- the knocking of a stick 
on the panel, announced to the listening ^r of Captain 
Cutde, that Bunsby was alongside ; whom he 
instantly admitted, shaggy and loose, and with his 
stolid mahogany visage^ as usual, appearing to have 
no consciousness ;of anything before it,' but to be 
attentively observing something that was taking place 
ifll quite another part of the world. 

** Bunsby,'' said the Captain, graspii^ him by the 
hand,.<< what cheer, my lad, what cheer? " 

<<Shipmet,'? replied die'Toioe widiin ' Bunsby, 
ui^ccompaBied by ahy. sign on the part of the 
Commaoderhimself, " hearty, hearty*" 

*^ Bunsby I " said the Captain, i^endering irrepres- 
sible homage to his genius, ** her^ you are t a man 
a» can ^ve an optriion as is Inrighter than di'monds 
— and 'give me the lad with the tarry trousers as 
i^iines tome like di'monds bright, for which you^ll 
overhaul the, Stanfell's Budget, and when found make 
a note. Here you are, a man as gave an opinion in 
this here very place, that has come true, every letter 
on it," which the Captain sincerely believed. 
; " Ay, ay i " growled Bunsby. 

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DOMBBV AKD SON 373 

** Eirery letter/' said the Captain. 
**For why? " growled Buuby, lookiag at his friend 
for the^rst time, *< Which way? If so, why not? 
Therefore." With these oracular words — they 
seemed almost to make>:the Captaia giddy ; they 
launched him apon such a sea of specuktidn and 
con jectiire-*^e. sage submitted to be -helped off with 
his pilot-coat, and accompanied his friend into the 
back-^parJonr, where his Ymnd presendyial^hted on 
the rum-bottle, from which he brewed a ^£ glass 
of grog; and presentLy afterwards on a pipe, which 
he filled, lighted, and .began to smoiie* 

Captain Cuttle, imitating his visitor in the matter 
of these particnlafs,. though the rapt and iihiperturbable 
manoer.of the great Commander was far aboie hi^ 
powers, sat in the>om)osite comer of the fireside 
observing himrespbctfiilly, and as if he waited for 
some encouf ^ement or exprtesion of curiosity on 
Bonsby's part which shteld lead him to his own 
affairs* But las the mahogany philosopher gave no 
evidence of being sentieQt of anydiing but warmth 
and tobacco, except once, when taking his pipe frbm 
his lips to make room for his glass, he incidentally 
remarked with exceeding gmfiness^ that his name 
was Jack Bunsbyr-^a declaration that presented but 
small opening for conversation-^the Captain be- 
speaking his attentioB in a short complimentary ex- 
ordium, nafrMed the whole history q€ Uncle SoFs 
departure,: with the change it had produced in his 
owQ; life and Hortunesi; and concluded by placing 
the^packetpn the table* 

After a iong pausis, Mr; Bunsby bbdded his head. 
<' Open? "said the Captain. ^ ! 

Bunsby nodded again. ^ 

The Captain accordingly brdke the seal^ and dis- 

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374 DOMBBY AND SON 

closed to view two folded papers, of which he 
severally read the indoraemeots, thus : ^< Last Will 
and Testament of Solomon Gills." ** Letter for 
Ned Cuttle." 

Bunsbyi with his eye ion the coast of^OTeenland, 
seemed to listen for the contents. The Captain 
therefore. hemmed to clear his throat, and read the 
letter aloud.- -' 

<« < My dear Ned^ Cuttk. When I left home for 
the West Indie*--*-' " : 

Her^ the.Captaaa stopped, and looked hard at 
Bunsby, who looked fixedly at the coast of Gnee&« 
land. ' . ' 

— ^" < in fofflmai seacefa of iolieUigence of ,my dear 
boy, I knew that if you were acquaialied wi^ my 
design; you would thwart it, or accompany me; 
and therefore I kept k secrttt^ i If you ever read this 
letter, Ned,. I am likely to bedead; You will easily 
forgive an iold friend's fi>Uy then, and will feel £at 
the restlesttiess and uncertainty in <which he wandered 
away on such a wild voyage. So. no' more of that. 
I. have little hope that my poorrboy will ever read 
thbse words, or gladden your eyes with the sight of 
his frank face ai^ more.' .No, no ; no more," said 
Captain Cuttle, sorrowfidly meditating ^ *^ no more. 
There he lays, all his days-^ — =— " 

Mr. Bunsby^ who had a arasical ear, suddenly 
hallowed, << In the Bays of Biscay, Q ! " which so 
afiected the good Captain, as an. appropriate tribiate 
to departed worth, ihat he shook' bim by the hand 
in acknowledgment, and was fain tofwipevhis eyes. 

« Wel^ weH i " said the Claptak^ wich a ngh, as 
the Lament of Bunsby ceased 10 risEg and -vibrate in 
the skylight. " Affliction sore, long dme'he bore, 
and let us overhaul the woUume, and there find it." 

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DOMBEV AND SON 37$ 

"Physicians," observed Bunsby, " was in vain." 

« Ay^ ay, to be sure/* said the Captain, " what's 
the good o' tijem in two or three hundred fathoms o' 
wdter ! " Then, returning to the letter, he read 
on 2 — ^*V 3ot if he should be Jjy, when it is opened ; ' " 
the Captain involuntarily looked round, and shook 
his head ; ^** ox should know • of it at any other 
time ; * " the Ca|>tain shook his head again ; ^' ' my 
Uessti^ on him !. In case the accon^nying paper 
is not .legally written, it matters very little, for ther^ 
18 BO one interested. but you and he, and my plain 
wish is, that if he is living he should have what little 
diere may be, and if (as I fear) otherwise, that you 
ahould have it, Ned. You wUl respect my wish, I 
know. God blesa you for it, and for all your 
friendliness besides, to SpboiioN Gills.' Bunsby!" 
said the Captain, appealing to him solemnly, " what 
da you. make of- this \ There you sit, a man as has 
had his head broke from infancy up'ards, and has 
got a new opinion into it at every seam as faa^ beep 
opened; Now, what 60 yf^u make.o' this ? " 

"H so be," retuisied Bunsby, with unufual 
pfomptitnde, " as he's dead^ my opinion is he won't 
come back no more. If 90 be as he's alive, my 
opinion is he will* Do I say be will I No. ^hy 
jioti Because the bearings of this obserwation hyp 
in the appUcationon at." 

<< Bunsby I " said Captain Cuttle, who would 
seem to have estimated the value of his distinguishe4 
iri^d's opinions in proportioQ to the immensity of 
.the difHcuky h!b experienced in making anything out 
of them.; "Buetfby»" said the Captain, (|uite conr 
founded hy admiralion, " you carry a weight of 
mind easy, as Would swamp one of my ton^i^ge soon. 
But io regard o' this [lere will, I don't me^n to uk^ 

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376 DOHBBY AND SON 

no «t«pe towards the property — Lord forbid !— «- 
cqjt to keep it for a more rightfiil owner; and Ibope 
yet as the rightfbl owner» Sol Gills, is iiviog aad 'II 
come back, strange «s it is that he an't forwanbd 
no dispatches. Nov, what is your OfHiuon, Bonsfay, 
as to stowing of these here papers atray Agm, and 
marking outside as they was opened, sach a day, m 
presence of John Bunsby and Ed'ivrd Cottle ? " 

Bonsby, descrying no objection^ om the coast of 
Greenland or elsewhere, to this proposal, it was 
carried into execution ; and thdt great man, bring- 
ing his eye into the present for a moloent, affixedhifi 
sign-manual to the cover, totally abstaining, wkh 
characteristic modesty, from the use of capital lettef& 
Captain Cuttle, having attached his own left-handed 
signature, and locked up the packet in the koa sale, 
entreated his guest to mix abother glass and smoke 
another pipe; and doing the like himself, fell a 
musing over the fire on the posdble fortunes of the 
poor old instrument-maker. 

And now a surprise occurred, so overwhehniDg 
and terrific that Captain Cuttle, unsupported "by the 
presence of Bunsby, must have sunk beneath it, and 
been a lost man from that fatal hour. 

How the Captain, even in the ^tis^ction of ad- 
mitting such a guest, could have otdy shut tiie door, 
and not locked it, of which negligence he . was un- 
doubtedly guilty, is one of those questions that must 
for ever remain mere poiifts of speculation, or vague 
charges against destiny. But by that unlocked door, 
at this quiet moment; did the fell MacStinger dash 
into the parlour, bi'inging Alexander'MacStinger in 
her parental amis, and confusion and vengeance (not 
to mention Julitoa MacSciftger, and tdie^weet child's 
brother, Charles MacStinger^ popularly known aboot 

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DOMBEY AND SON 377 

the scebee of his . youthfbl spotis, as Chowley ) in 
her train. She came so swiftly and so 'silently, like 
a rtlshing a^r firom th^ neighbourhood of- the East 
India Docks, that Captain Cuttle found himself in 
the Very act of ntting looking at her,' before th^ calm 
face "With which he had been meditating, changed to 
one of horror and dismay. 

But the'mometit Captain Cutde understood the 

Ball ejctent of his misfortune, self^preserration^diclated 

an attempt at fiighu Dartifigxiat the little door 

vrhich cfpened from the parlour on the stieep little 

range of cellar-steps, the Captain made a rush, head 

foremost^ at the latter, like a man indiffereht to 

bruises and contusions, w^io only sought to hide 

himself in the bowels of the earth. In this gallant 

effort he would |>robably have succeeded, but- for the 

ufipecttonatedispo^ons cif* Juliana and Chowley, who 

pinpin^ him by the legs-'^'-oae.of those dear .children 

holding on to each — claimed him as their &iend, 

with lamentable cries. In the meantime, Mrs. 

MacStinger, who nerer isntered upon any^ action of 

importance without previously inverting Aleiiander 

MacStinger, to bring him within the range of a brisk 

battery of (daps, and ilien sitting him down to cool 

as the reader, first beheld him, perlbrmed that solemn 

rioe, as if on this occasion it were a sacrifice to the 

Furies $ and having • deposited the victim on the 

floor^ made at the Captain with a strength of purpose 

that appeared to threaten scratches to the ihterposing 

Bunsby. 

The cries of the two elder MacStingers,. and the 
wailing of young Alexander, who may be said to 
have passed a piebald ch^dhood, forasmuch as .he 
was black in the face during one half of that fairy 
period of existence, combined to make this visitation 

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37S OOMBEY AND SON 

the more atwfiil. But wlien silence reigned ^sn, 
and the Captain, in a Tiolent per^iradon, stood 
meekly lookii^ at Mrs. MacStinger, its terron were 
at their height* 

«' Oh, Cap'en Cuttle^ Cap'en Cattle ! *' said Mrs. 
MacStinger, making her chin rigid, and shaking it 
in unison with what, but for the weakness of her 
sex, might be described as her fist. <^Oh, Csp'en 
Cutde, Cap'en Cuttle, do you dare to look me m 
the face, and not be struck down in the berth ! " 

The Captain^ who looked anything but dariog, 
feebly muttered "^Stand by ! *' 

' ** Oh, I was a weak and trusting fool when Itook 
you under my roof, Cap'en Cuttle, I waa ! " cried 
Mrs. MacSdnger. '< To think of the benefits IVf 
ahowered on that man, and the way in which I 
brought my children up to iove and i&onour him as if 
he was a father to 'em, when there an't a 'ooaekeq)er, 
no nor a lodger in our street, don't know that I lost 
money by that man, and by his guzzHnga and \m 
muzzlmgs" — Mrs. MacStinger used the last word 
for the joint sake of aUiteration and aggravatioD, 
rather than for the expressicm of any idea — ^"and 
when they cried out one a^ all, shame upon him 
for putting upon an indnstribua woman, up early ani 
late for the good of her young family, and keepbg her 
poor place so clean that a individual might have ate 
his dinner, yes, and his tea too, if' he was so dis- 
posed, off any erne of the floors or stairs, in stpite of 
all his guzzlings and his muzzlings, such was tAe 
care and pains besUM^ed liponhim'l " 

- Mrs. MacStinger stopped to fetch her breath; 
and her face flushed with triumph in this second 
happy introduction of Captain Cutde's muzzlings. 
** And he runs awa-a«a^ay ! " cried Mrs. Mac- 

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IK>MBSy AND soar 379 

Stinger, with a lengthemng out of the last syllable 
that made the unfortunate Captain regard himself as 
the meanest of men ; << and keeps away a twelve- 
mooth I Frmn a woman ! Sitch is. bis. conscience ! 
'He hasn't the courage to nieet her iii-i-i<righ; " long 
syllable again ; *' but steals away, like a felion. 
Why^ if that baby of nune/'said Mrs. MacStinger, 
-with a sudden rapidity »>< was to offer to go and steal 
av/^ay, I'dido ray duty as a i mother by faim^.tttthe 
yr a« covened with waleB I " 

The yoimg Alexander, interpreting this into a 
positive promise, to. bi!> shortly redeemed, tumbled 
over with fear and grief, and lay upon the floor cx- 
hibdting doe.'aol^ of his shoes and making such a 
deafening outcry, that Mrs. MacStinger found it 
necessary to .take him up in her arms^ where 'she 
quieted him^ ever and anon, as he broke out again, 
by a shake that seemed enough to loosen his teeth. 

** A pretty sort; of a man is Cap'en Cutde," said 

Mrs. MacStinger, with/ a sharp stress on the first 

syllable of the Captain's flame^ *< to take onibr — and 

to lose sleep for-r-^and to faint along Lof^-tand to 

jthink dead foraooth^^afid tto go up and down the 

blessed town like a mad woman, asking questions 

after ! Oh, a ]ȣUy sort of i man ! Ha ha ha ha ! 

He's worth all that trouble and distress of mind, 

and much more. - Thai's nothings bless you ! Ha ha 

ha ha I Cap'eir Guttle," saidMsb. MacStin^^ with 

severe redaction in her .Toice dnd manner, '*I wisli 

to know if you're a. cdming home.!' 

The frightened Captain looked into his hat, as if he 

saw Bttlibing foE ift but to put it on, and giveihimself up. 

^< Cap'en Cuttle,'' repeated Mrs. MacStinger, in 

the .same determined manner, ^^^wi^ to kncm*. if 

you're a coming home, ar." 

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38o DOlflBEY AlfD SON 

The Captain seemed quite ready to go, but faintly 
suggested something to the effect of ** not making so 
moch noise about it." 

'*Ay, ay, ay," said Bunsby, in a soothing tone. 
^^ Awast, my lass, awast ! " 

'* And who may tou be, if you please ! " ri^torted 
Mrs. MacStinger, with chaste loftiness. ** Did you 
ever lodge at Number Nine, Brig Place, sir ? My 
memory may be bad^ bat not with me, I think. 
There was a Mrs. Jollson Hved mt Kumber Nine 
before me, and perhaps you're mistaking roe for her. 
That is my only ways of accounting for your 
familiarity, sir." 

*'Come, come, my lass, awast, awast ! " said 
Bunsby* 

Captain Cuttle ic6uld hardly beliefire it, even of 
this great man, though he saw it done with his 
waking eyes ; but Bunsby, advancing boldly, put his 
shaggy. blue arm round. Mrs. MacStinger, and so 
softened her by his magic way of doing it, and by 
these few word»-— he sand no more — ^that she melted 
into tears,' after looking upon him for a few mmnents, 
and observed that a child might conquer her now, 
she was so low in her courage; ^ 

Speechless and utterly (amazed, the Captain saw 
him gradually persuade this inexorable woman into 
the ishop^ return fi>r rum and ^ater and a candle, 
take them to her, and pacify her without appearing 
to utter one word. > Presendy hb looked in with his 
pilot-coat on, and said)^ " Cntde, I'm a going to act 
as convoy home; " and Captain Cutde, more to his 
confusion than if he had been put in<ir<ms himself, 
for safei ttan^rt :to Brig Place, saw the fiunily 
pacifically filing otf*, with Mrs. MacStmger at their 
head. He had scarcely time to take down his 

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DOMBEy AND SON 3S1 

canistery and steakliilj coovcy aome mooey into the 
hands of Juliana MaurStingery his fbnncr feTOuritc^ 
and Cbowky, who had the claim upon him that 
he. was natnraUy of a maritime build, before the 
Midshipman was abandoned bj them all; and 
BB0sb3r, whiipdring that he'd cany on smart, md 
hail Ned Cattle 9gain before he went aboard, shut 
the door npoa himself, as the last member of the 
party. 

Some imeasy ideas that he mnst be walking in his 
sleep, or that he had been troohled with phantoms, 
and not a family of flesh and blood, beset the Captain 
at first, when he went back to the little parloar, 
and found himself alone. lUimitafale faith in, and 
immes^surable admiration of, the Commander (^ the 
Cautious Clara, succeeded, and threw the Captain 
into a wondering trance. 

Still, as time wore on, and Bunsby failed to re-i 
appear, the Captain began to entertain^uncomforuble 
doubts of another kind. Whether Bunsby had been 
artfully decoyed to Brig Place, and 'vras there de- 
tained in safe custody as hostage for his frigid ; • inl 
which case it would become the Captain, as a man 
of honour^ to release him, by the sacrifice of his own 
liberty. Whether he had been attacked and defeated 
by> Mri^ MacStinger, and was ashamed to show 
himself after his discomfiture. Whether Mrs. Mac^^i 
Stinger, thinking, better of it, in the uncertahity of 
her temper, had turned back to board the Midship^ 
num again, and Bunsby, prelendii^ to conduct her 
hy a short cut,, was endeavouring to lose the fatnily 
amid t^e iirijds. and savage places of the City.. 
Above all, wh^jt it woidd behove him. Captain 
Cuttle,. i<o do, iacase of hb hearing no more^ either 
of the M^cStio^rs, or. of Bunsby,; which, in these' 

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382 DOMBEY ANI> SOU 

wonderfiil and nnfiareseen coojunctioiu of eventSy 
might possibly happen. 

He debated ali this andl he was tired ; and still 
DO BuDsby* He made up his bed under the couttto', 
all ready for turning iik ; and still no Bunsby. At 
ki]^9 when the Captain had given him up, for that 
nig^t at kasty and had begun to nndress, the sound 
of approochiog wheels was heard, and, stopping at 
the door, was succeeded by Bunsb/s hail. 

The Captam trembled to think that ftfrs. Mac- 
Stinger was not to be got rid of^ and had been brought 
hack in a coach» 

Bat no. Bunsby was aocompaned by nothing 
but a large box, wfaach he hauled into the shop with 
his own hands, and as soon as he had hauled in, sat 
upon. Captain Cutde knew it for the chest he had 
left at Mrs. MacStinger's house, and looking, candle 
in hand, at Bunsby more attentirdy, believed that 
he was three sheets in the wind, or, in plain words, 
drank. It.was difficult, however, to be sure of this ; 
the Commander having no trace of expression in his 
face when sober. 

<< Cuttle,'' said; the Commander, getting off the 
chest, and opening the lid, ^ are these' here your 
traps?" 

Captam Cutde looked in, and identified his 
property. 

" I>one pretty taut and trim, hey Shipmieft ? ** said 
Bunsby. 

The. grateful' and beiHldered Captain grasped him 
by the hand, and was launehitig imo a reply ex- 
pressive of his astonished feelings, when Bunsby 
disengaged himself by a jerk of hie wrist, and seemed 
to make an efert to wink with his revolving eye, 
the only effect of which attempt,' in his condition,' 

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DOMBEY AND SON 3S3 

was nearly to over-balance him. He then abruptly 
opened the door, and shot away to rejoin the 
Cautious Clara with all speed — supposed to be his 
invariable custom, whenever he considered he had 
made a point* 

As it was not his humour to be often sought. 
Captain Cuttle decided not to go or send to him next 
day, or until- he should make his gracious pleasure 
known in c^ch wise, or &iling that, undl some little 
time should have elapsed. The Captain, therefore, 
renewed his solitary life next morning, and thou^t 
profoundly, many m<Nmings, noons, and nights, of old 
Sol Gills, and Bunsby's sentiments concerning him, 
and the hopes there, were of his return. Much oif 
such think^i^ strengthened Captain Cuttle's hopes; 
and he humoured them and himself by watching for 
the JAstnunent-maker at the door — as he ventured to 
do now, in his strange liberty — ^and setting his chair 
in its pl^ce, and arranging the little parlour as it used 
to be, in case he should come home unexpectedly. 
He likewise, in his thoughtEilness, took down a 
certain little miniature of Walter as a ischoolboy, 
from its accustomed nail, lest it should shock the old 
man on his return. * The Captain had his presenti- 
ments too, sometimes, that he would come on such a 
day ; and one particular Sunday, even ordered a 
double allowance of dinner,, he was so sanguine. 
But, come, old. Solomon did not; and still the 
neighbours noticed how the seafaring man in the 
glazed hat, stood at the shop«-door of an evening, 
looking up and down the street. 



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384 DOMBEY AND SON 

Chapter XL 



DOMESTIC RELATIONS 



IT was not in the nature of things that a man of 
Mr. Dombey's mood, opposed to such a spirit 
as he had raised against himselfy shoukl be softened 
in the imperious asperity of his temper ; or that the 
cold hard armour 6f pride in which he lived encased, 
should be made more flexible by constant collision 
with haughty scorn and defiance. It is the curse of 
6uch a. nature — it is a main part of the heavy retri- 
bution on itself it bears within itself — ^that while 
deference and concession swell its evil- qualities, 
and are the food it .grows ttpon,^ resistiifQtee, and a 
questioning' of its exacting clainis, foster' it too, no 
less. The evil that i» in it finds equally its means 
of growth and propagation in bpposites. It draws 
support and lif<p f^om sweets and bitters: bowed 
down before^ or unacknowledged, It still enslaves 
the breast in which it has its throne ; and. Worshipped 
or rejected, is as hard 'a master as the devil in dark 
febles; 

' Towards his first wife, Mu Dombey, in his cold 
and lofty arrogahce, had borne hfftiself like the 
removed Being he almost concf^ived himself to be. 
He had been ** Mr. 'Dombey''^ with her when she 
first saw him, and he was **Mn Dombey*' when 
die died. He had asserted hk greatness during 
their whole married ii^, and' she had meekly recog- 
nised it. He had kept his distant seat of state on 
the top of his throne, and she her humble station on 
its lowest step; and much good it had done him, 
so to live in solitary bondage to his one idea ! He 
had imagined that the proud character of his second 

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DtnUBET AND SOir 3S5 

svife would hftv^ been added to his owii**-woald 
tiave merged into it, and exalted his greatness. H« 
had picturad himself haughtier than ever, with Edith's 
haughtiness sulktervient to his. He had never enter- 
tained the possibility of its ari'aying itself against him. 
And nowy when he found it rising in his path at 
every step and tiim of his daily Ufe, fixing its cold, 
defiant, ^md contemptuous fiice upon him, this pride 
of Ms, bstead of withering, or hanging down its 
head beneath the Shock, put forth new shoots^' became 
more concentrated and intettte, more gloomy, sullen, 
irksome, and unyielding, than it had ever beoi before. 
Who wears such armour, too, bears with 'him 
ever another heaty reeributicML It is of proof against 
conciKaeioti, love,' and confidence; against all gentle 
sjotipathy from Wkhout, all trust, all tenderness, all 
soft emotion; but to deep stabs in the self-loye, it 
18 as vulnerable aS the bare breast to ^ttel ; ' and such 
tormenting festers ranklef there, aa. follow on no other 
wounds, no, though dealt with die mailed hand of 
Pride itself, on Weaker pride, disarmed' and' thrown 
down. 

Such wounds were lus. He felt them sharply, 
in the solitude of his old rooms ; whither he now 
began often to retire again, and pass long solitary 
hours. It seemed Itts fat^ to be ever proud and 
powerful; ever humUed and powerless where he 
would be most stroiig. Who seemed fiited to work 
out Uiat doom ? 

Who? Who was it who could wih his wife as 
she had won his boy ! Who was it who had shown 
him that new victory, as he sat in the dark comcff 1 
Who was it. Whose least word did ^at his utmost 
means could not ! Who was it who, unaided by his 
love, regiard, or notice, thrived and grew beautiful 

II. CO 

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3S6 DOMBEY AND BQ^ 

when, tboap so aided died 1 Who conld it be» but 
the same child at whom he had often glanced un- 
easily in her motherless infancy, with a kind of dread, 
lest he might come to bate her ; and of whom his 
foreboding wa8 fulfilled, for he nm hate her in his 
heart. 

Yet, and h^ .would hav^.it hatred^ and. he made 
it hatred, though socne sparkles of the light in which 
she had appeared before him on diQ memorable night 
of his return home with his Bride, occasionally hung 
about her still. He knew now idiat she was beauti- 
ful; he did not dijiput^ that she was graceful and 
wutoing, and chat in th^. bright (Uwp of her woman- 
hood she had come upon bin^.a ^^p^se. But he 
turned even this again3t her. [n his sullen and 
unwholesame broo^g, the unb^ppy man, with a 
dull percqitioQ of his alienation rfrom all hearts, and 
a vague yeamii^ for whs(|t he had all his life r^elled, 
made a distorted picture of his, rights and wrongs, 
and justified himself with it ^^ainst . hen The 
wocthier. she promised to b^ orh^^ the greater 
claim he was disposed to ante-date upon her duty 
jmd submiasion. When had ^e eyer shown liim 
duty and submission i Did she gl^Q? his life— or 
Edith's ? Had h^ attractions, hf^ niaajifested first 
to hikn--^or Edith? Why> be and. she h^ never 
been, from her htrth, like £^«a: apd ch^d ! They 
had always been estranged. She had ^ro§sed him 
every way and everywhere. She was leagued against 
him now. .Her very beauty s(»fteped natures that 
were obdurate to him, and insultc4 hiia with s^i 
unnatural triumph. 

It may have been that in all this there were 
muttcrings of an awakened feeling, in his brea^ 
however selfishly aroused by his position of dis- 

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DOMBEYAND BOH 187 

advantage; in comiiarison with what she might have 
made his life. But he silenced the distant thunder 
with the rolling of hia sea of prkle. He would hear 
nothing hut his pride. And in his pride, a heap oS 
inconsistency, aiKl misery, and self-inflicted torment, 
he hated her. 

To the moody, stubborn, sullen demon, that pos« 
sessed him,' his wife opposed her different pride iq 
its full force. They never could have led a happy 
Kfe together ; but nothing could have made it more 
unhappy, than the wilful and determined warfare of 
such elements. His pride was set upon maintaining 
his magiliii^eBt sup^em^cy,'and forcing recognition 
of it from her. ' She woidd have been racked to 
death, and turned but her haughty glance of calm' 
inflexible disdain utx)ri him, to the last. Such re- 
cognition from Edith ! He litde knew through 
what a- storm and struggle flihe had been- driven 
onward to the crowning honour of his hand. He 
Ktde khe# how much she thought sh^ had conceded, 
when die Tkiffered hun to call her wife. 

Mr. Dombefy was resblved to show her that he 
was supreme^ There mtost be no will but liis. 
Proud 'he desired that she shoi^d be, but she must 
be proud for, not against him.-' A« he sat aloae,- 
hardening, he Would often hear her go out aad come 
home, treading the round of London life with no 
more heed of his liking or disliking, pleasure or^ 
displeasure, than if he had be^n her groom. Her 
cold supreme indifference— his own unquestioned 
attribute usurped — sttteg him more than any 'other 
kind of treatment cot^ have done ; 'and he deter-' 
mined to bend her to his magnificent and stately 
will. 

He had -been long communing with these thoughts, 

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38S DOMBEY AUb SON 

wheti one night 'he sought her in her own apart- 
ment, after he had heard her return home late. She 
was alone, in her brilliant dressy and had but that 
noment come from her mother's room. Her hct 
was melancholy and pensive, when he came upon 
her ; but it marked him at the door ; for, glancing 
at the mirror before it, he .saw immediately, as in a 
picture-frame, the knitted, brow, and darkened beauty 
that he knew so well. 

« Mr8..0Dk)!mbey,'' h«i said, entering, « I must beg 
leave to Jbaye aj^w/wotds with you." 

*< To-morrow,"; she replied* * 

<< There is no time, like the present^ madam," he 
returned. '^ You mistake your position. I am used 
t0 choose my own times ; iiot to have them chosen 
for me. I diink you scarcely understand who and 
what I am, Mrs. Dombey." 

*.* I think," she ansfwered, *^ that I understand you 
very welL" 

She looked upon him as she ss^id so^aad folding 
her white arms, sparkling with gdid and gems, upon 
her swelling fareatt, turned aw^y her eyes., ! 

If she had been less haodsomei 9nd le^ stately in 
her cold composdire, she might not have had the 
power of impressing him with the sense of dis- 
advantage that pen^ated through his utmost pride. 
Bat she had the power, and he felt it keenly. He 
glanced round. the room: saW; how th^. splendid 
roekba of personal adornment, and the luxuries of 
dress,, were. scattered here and there„. and disre- 
garded; not in mere caprice ^nd carelessness (or so 
he thought|, but in a stead&st, haughty rdisregard 
of cofidy things : and felt it more and more. Chap- 
lets of flowers, plumes of feathers, jewels, laces, 
silks and satins; look where he would, he saw 

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D09AWX. Am> SON 3^9 

riches^ despioed, poured out, and made of no ac* 
count. The very diamonds — vl marriage gift— that 
rose and feU impatiently upom her bosom, sisemed to 
pant to break the chain that clasped them round her 
necki and roll .dowoi on^ ihe^ fteor where she might 
tread upon theivu 

He felt Ma ttisadvantage, and he showed it. 
Solomst and strange among this wealth of colour and 
voluptuous ^ter, strange aod constrained towards 
its haiighty mistress, whose repellent beauty it re- 
peated, nod presented all around him, as in so many 
fragments of a mirror> be was consciousi of eutbar- 
rassment^nd awkwardness. • Nothi^ that ministered 
to her disdainfiil self-possession could fail to gaU 
hinu Galled and irritated: with himself, he sat 
down, and went on, in no improved humour : 

**Mrs. Dpmbey, it is very necessary that there 
should be some uxulerstanding arrived at between us* 
Your condjuot does not please me,,^aadam.'.^ 

She merely glanced at him again, ^d again 
averted her eyes; but she might have spoken for 
an hour, and expressed less. 

" I repeat, Mrs. Dombey, does not please me; 
I iiave already takoi occasion to request that it may 
be corrected* I now insist upon it* ' 

.<«> You .chose a fittiog occasion for yotir. first 
remonstrance, sir, and you adopt a, fitting manner, 
and a fitting wotd for yotu: second, JTom insist I 
TomeJ" . 

^^Madanv? said Mr. Dombey, with his most 
ofiPensvve ak of state, 5< I have made yoju my wUe^ 
You bear my name. You are associated yrith my 
position and. my reputation. I will not .say that the 
world in general may be di^^ to, thinlc, you 
hoipuced by that association ; but I will say di^t 

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190 DOMBEY AN» SON 

I am 'SicCustomed to ^ iAsisty' to my coonexions and 
dependetits." 

"Which may you be pleaaed to connder me?" 
she asked. 

**PoB8ibly t may ttifik thiil my wife should 
partake — or does partake, and cai»ot help herself 
—of both characters, Mrs. Dombey/* 

She bent her eyes upon him steadily, and set 
hier trembling Kps. He saw her bo^som Uirob, and 
saw her ^Eice flash and turn white. All .ibis he 
could know, and did: but he could not kAo# that 
one word was whispering in the deep recesses of her 
heart, to keep her quiet; and that the word was 
Florence. 

BHnd idiot, Pushing to a precipice ! He thought 
she stood in awe of him ! 

*<You are too expensive, madam,'' said Mr. 
Dombey. ^You )ire extravagant. You waste a 
great deal of niteney — or what wotdd be a great 
deal in the pockets of most gentlemen-^n culti- 
vating a kind of society that is useless to me, and, 
indeed, that upon the whole is disagreeable to me. 
I have to insist upon a total change in all these 
respects. I know that in the noveky of possessing 
a tithe of such means as Fortune has placed at your 
disposal, ladies are apt to run into a sudden extreme. 
There has been more than enough of that extreme, 
i beg that Mrs* Granger's very different experiences 
may now come to the instruction of Mrs. Dombey." 

Still the fixed look, t!ie trerublmg lips, the^r6b- 
bing breast, the face now crimsosf and now white ; 
and still t)^ deep whisper Florence, Florence, 
speaking to her in the beating of her heart. 

His insolence of self^-impbrlanee dilated as he saw 
this alteration b lii^r. Swollen no less by her past 

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DOMEEV AND SON 39< 

scorn of him, and his so recent feeling of disad* 
vantage^ than by her present sabmissioii (as he took 
it to be), it bec^ne too mighty for his breast, and 
bnrst all bounds. Why, who could long resist his 
lofty will and pleasure [ He had resolved to ccm- 
quer her, and look here ! 

" You liiili further please, madam/' said Mr. 
Dombey, in a tone of sovereign command, ^^io 
^toderst^ distmctly, that I am to be deferred to 
and obeyed. Tfcat I must hare a positive show 
and confession of deference before the n^ld, 
madam* I am used to this. I require it as my 
right; In short I will liave it* I consider it no 
unreasonable return (or the worldly advancement 
diat has befallen you ; and I believe nobody will be 
surprised, either at its being required from you, or 
at your making it. — ^To me — ^to Me!'^ he added, 
With emphasis. 

No word firofti her. No' change in her. Her 
eyes upon him; ' 

"I have kftmt ffom your mother, Mrs. Dom<^ 
bey," said Mr. Dombey, with magisterial import- 
ance, << what no doubt you know, namely, that 
Brighton is recommended for her health. Mr. 
Carker has been so good " 

She changed suddenly^ Her face and bosom 
globed as if %he red light of an angry sunset had 
betfn flung upon them. Not-unobservant olf the 
change, and putting his owti interpretation upon it, 
Mf. Dmribey resuiiied : 

•*Mr. Carker has been so good sis to go down 
and ^cure a house there, for a time. On- the 
return of the .estaMishment< to- London^ I shall 
take such steps for its better management as I coi>* 
sid^r necessary. One of these, will be the engage- 
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$9t DOMBSV ANSI SOH 



; at Brighton (if it is to be eiected)» of a very 
respectable rednoed person there^ a .Mrs. Pipchin^ 
formerly employod in a situation of trust in n^ 
family» to act as housekeeper.' An esubiishment 
like tUsy prended oyer but nanikially» Mrs. Dombey^ 
requires a competent head." 

She had changed her attitude before he arrited at 
these/wQcds, and now sat— «tiU looking- at him 
fixedly-— turmng a bracelet ; round and; round npoo 
her arm ; sot^ winding it about with a light, womsmly 
touch, but pressing and dragging it over the smooth 
skin, until the white limb showed a bar of red. 

Ml observed/^ said Mc Dombey^-^^^andithis con** 
eludes what I deem it> necessary to say to. you at 
present, Mrs. Dombey — I observed a moment ago» 
madam, that my dilusion to>Mr. Carker was received 
in a peculiar manner. Oh the occasion, of my hap- 
pening to point out to you, before that confident^ 
agent, the ohjeotion I had to your mode of receiving 
my visitors, you were pleased to object to his pre- 
sence. . You will have to get the b^r of that ob- 
jection, madam, and to aqcustom yourself to it very 
probably on many similar occasions; unless you 
adopt the remedy which is. in your own hands, of 
giving me no cause of complaint. Mr. Carker,'' said 
Mr. . Dombey, who, after the emotion he had just 
seen, set great store by this means of reducing his 
proud >wife, and who was perhaps sufficiently willing 
to exhibit his power to that gentl^nan in a new and 
triumphant aspect, "Mr. Carker being ii^ my qgli- 
fidencey Mrs. D6nibey, may very well :be in yours to 
such an extent I hop^, Mrs. jPfprnbey,*' he con- 
tinued, after a few moments, during «which» in his 
increasing haughtinesA, he h^d improve4iOn his idea, 
"I may not find it neoessary ever to int^rjo^t Mr. 

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I>QMBEY AND BW 393 

Carker with any message of objection or rempiiAtrance 
to «YOU ; but as it would be derogatory to my positioQ 
and reputation to be frequently holding trivial disputes 
with a lady upon whom I have conferred the highest 
distinction, that it is in pay power to bestow^ I. shall 
not scruple to avail myself of his seryic^ .if I s^ 
occasion.'' 

<< And now/' he thought, rismg in his mor^l mag- 
liificence, and rising a st^^r and more impen^aUe 
man than ever, ** she knows me 9pd my resQlntion." 

The hand that had so pressed the bracelet, was 
laid heavily upon her breast, but she : looked at him 
still, with an imalter^ face, and said in a low voice: 

<< Wait ! For God's «ake i I must speak to 
you.'' . 

Why did she not, and what was the inward struggle 
that rendered her incapable of doiiig.so, for mi^tes^ 
while, in the strong constraint she put upon her face, 
it, was. as fixed as any statue's— r-looking upon.liim 
with neither yielding nor unyielding, liking nor hatred* 
pride nor humility : nothing but a searching ga^e. • 

^* I)id I ever tempt you to aeek my ham) • Did 
I ever use any art to win you? Was I ever more 
conciliating to you when you pursued me, than I 
have been since our ni^riage ? Was I ever olher to 
you, than I am?" 

,,** It is wholly imnecessary, madsm/' said Mr. 
Dombey, '* to e^ter >upon such discussiopa." . 

. ** Did you think. I loved you? . Did y^^ know I 
did npt ? Did you ever care, man I fpr my h^t, or 
propose to yourself to w?n the worthlesft thing? 
Was there any poor pretence of any in our bargain ? 
Upon yoi^^side, or. on mine ? " 

** These questions," said Mr. jDoml^ey, <*2U'e all 
wide of the purpose, madam*" 

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394 DOIfBEY AKD SOU 

She tnoved between him and the doot to prevent 
his going away, and drawing her majestic figure to 
its height, looked steadily upon him srilL 

** Yon answer each of thehi. You answer me 
before I speak, I see. How can you help it ; you 
who know the miserable truth as well as I ? Now, 
tell me. If I loved you to devotion, covild I do 
more than render up my wiiole will and being to you, 
as you have just demanded ? If my heart wef e pure 
and BtA untried, and yon its idol, could you ask more; 
could you have more ? ** 

" Possibly not, madam,'' he returned coolly. 

*• You know how diflfet^t I am. You see me 
looking on you now, and you tan read the warmth 
of passion for you that is breathing in my face.*' 
Not a curl of the proud lip, not a flash of die dark eye, 
nothing but the same intent and seatrching look, 
accompanied these words. •* You know my general 
history. You have spoken of my mother. Do you 
think you can degrade, or bend or break, wip to sub- 
mission and obedience ? " 

Mr. Dombey smiled, as he might have smiled at 
an inquiry whether he thought he could raise ten 
thousand pounds. 

"If there is anything unusual here," she said, with 
a slight motion of her hand before her broV, which 
dM not for amomefht flinch from its lYnmo viable and 
otherwise expressionless gaze,.** as 1 k^ow there are 
imusual f^litigfr here," raising the hand she pressed 
upon htk bosOm, and heavily returning it, "consider 
that there is no commoii mestning in the appeal I am 
going to make you. Yes, foi* I am^ '^oing ; " she 
said it as in prompt reply to scrtxiethihg in his. face ; 
^*to appeal to you." * 

Mr. Dombey, with a slightly condescending bend 

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DOMBfilr AMD SOU 395 

»f his chin that rustled and crackkd hid stifF cravat, 
^at down on a sofa that was near hikn, to hear the 
ippeal* 

<* If you can believe that I am of such a nature 
[iow,"^*^hc fancied he saw tears gHstehing iii her eyes, 
and he thought, comphcently^ that he had forced 
them from her^ though none fell on her eheek, and 
she regarded' him as steadily as ever,— -^^ as wotrtd 
make what I now say altho<h: incredible to myself, 
said to any man who had become my husband, but, 
above all,! said (o y6u, ybu may, perhaps, attach the 
greater weight to it. In the dark end to Which we 
are ttendil^, and may come, we shall not iliYolve oW- 
selves alone (that might not be ifiuch) but bthbrs/' 

Others i He knew at whom that word pointed, 
and frowned heavfly.' ^ 

** 1 speak to jovl fbr the sake' of others. Also 
yomr own sake ; - and for nmie. ' Since ouf marriage, 
you hiave been arrogant to me ; and I have repSaid 
you in kind* You have shown to me and every one 
around us, every day ^md hour,* that you'think I am 
graced and distrnguished by your alliance; I do not 
think so, aiid have shown that toOi '• It seems you do 
not understand, or (so far as your power cin gb) 
intend that each of uf» shall 'take ^''separate course ; 
and you expert from m^ instead, a homage you will 
never havc.*\ 

Although her face was still the same, there Was 
emphatic confirmation of this •*Never*' in the very 
brtodi she drew* ^ ' 

*'I feel no tenderness towards you; that yoii 
know. You would care nothing for it, if I did Or 
cooki« I know as well that you feel n6ne towards 
me. But we are linked together; and in the knot 
that ties us, as I hate said, others are bbund up. 

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396 PCHiffBBY Aim^smN 

We miut both di^ ; we are both connected with the 
dead akeady» «ach by. a little child. Let us forbear," 

Mr. Dombey took a long respiration^ as if he 
would have said^ Oh ! was Ah all ! . • ' 

'< Thore is.no wealthy" she went on, tocning. paler 
as she ws^tched hiaij^ while her eyes- grew yet more 
lustrous in theij; earnestness, ** fchal^ podd hoy these 
words of me, and the meaning that belongs to them. 
Once cast away as idle /breathy no wealth or power 
can bring them bacJk. I mean them ; I have weighed 
them; and I will be. true tp what I undertake. If 
you will promise to forbear on your.part^ I- wtil 
prpmise t^ forbear on mine. We area mpst unhappy 
pair, in whom, from difFerfrnt, caiises, every sentiment 
that blesses marriage^ or justifies. it» is rooted >oat ; 
but in the course of time, some frieadsbip, or some 
fitness for each other^ may ^ise between us, I will 
try to hone so, if you wiU make thie endeayour too ; 
and I will look forward to a belter and a haraier use 
of age than I have made,of yoifth or prime. ■ 
. Throughout she had spoken in a lowplain voice, 
that neither rose qpr fell ; ceasing, she dropped the 
hand with which she had enforced ha*8elf to be so 
passionless and distinct, but not the eyes with which 
she had so steadily x)bservQd him< 

" Madam/' said Mr# I>oimbey, with Ins utmost 
dignity, " I cannot entertain any proposal lof this 
extraordinary nature. '^ 

She< looked at him yet, without the least chamge. 

<< I cannot," said Mr. Dombey, rinng^s he spoke, 
^V^onsjsnt to. t^pocise ^r* treat: with you, .Mrs. 
P(H^y,, upon ^ subject as to whkh you are in 
possession of my opiniooiB and expect^liansi I have 
stated my Hbknatftttif imsAfmr and have* mnly. tto 
reqvest.your very. seriqus. attention to it." 

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OOMBEY ANI> SON 397 

To see the face change to its old expressioii, 
leepened in intensity ! To see the eyes droop as 
From some mean and odious object ! To see the' 
lighting - of the haughty farow f To see scorn, 
anger, indignation, and abhorrence starting iaiof sight, 
and the psde blank eacnestness yanish like a mist ! 
tie could not choose but look^ although he lobked 
to his dismay: 

^#.Go, sir !" she said, )>oiBiang with an imperious 
liand towards tbe<door. ^.Our first and last confi- 
dence is at an end. Kolhing can make us stranger 
to eaeh^oth^ than we ase.h^oeforth." 

*^ I shail take my rightful conite, midam," said 
Mr. Dombey, ** undeterred, you may be sure^ 'by 
any general declamation'' / 

S&tumed her back upon him, and, without reply^ 
sat down before her ^aiss* 

*^ I filac^my reliance on your improved sense, of 
doty, imd more torrectieeliog^ and better reflection^ 
madam," said Mr, Oonbey. 

She .answered not one word. He samr no moDe 
expression' of any heed of. him, in the ftitoror, than 
if Ke had been an .unseen spider on the wall, or 
beetle on the floor, or rather, than if he had been 
the one or other, seen and crushed When the lait 
turned from hiav^and forgotten among the igno- 
minioua and dead vermin of the ground. 

He looked back, as he went out at the door, 
upon the well«di^bitod and luxutipus room, the beauti** 
fill and glittoiing objects everywhere displayed, the 
shape of Editb' in its rich dress seated before her 
glass, and the &ce of Edith as the ^ass presented it 
to him; aadbctook himself to his M chamber oi 
cogitation, carryixKg away .with himavind picture 
in his mind of all these things, and a rambling and 

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198 DOMBBY AND SQN 

miaccocmtahle speculation (such at aoraetiiiies comes 
mto a man's head) how they would all look when 
he saw them next. 

For the rest^ Mi*. Dombey was very taciturn, and 
very dignified, acod very confident of carrying out 
hit purpose; and remained so. 

ike did not d^gn. accon^anyii^ the fiimily to 
Brighton ; but he graciously informed Cleopatra at 
breakfatt, on the momiag of departure, which arrived 
a day or two afterwards, that he might be ^cpected 
down, soon. There wasJiD timeio be lost in get* 
ting Cleopatra to any place reconuBendfid at bang 
salutary ; ibr, indeed, she teemed upon tiie wane, 
and turning of the earth, earthy. 

Without having undergone any decided second 
attack of her malady, the old woman seemed to 
have crawled backward in ker recovery fixim the 
first. She W9M more lean and shrunken, more un« 
certain in her imbecility, sKMi-made stranger con- 
fusions m her mind and mcnliory.. Among other 
symptomfrof th^s last affliction, she fell into the habit 
<k bonfounding the names of her two iont^«hiw, 
the livmg and the deceased; and in geberal cafied 
Mr. Dombey, either "Grangehy,** or «Domber," 
or indifferendy, bothi 

But she was youthfi^ very youtMut still ; and m 
her youthfulness appeared at brcakfim, before going 
away, in a new bonnet made express, and a travel- 
Hflg robe that was 'embroidered asd iMraided* like an 
old baby's. It was' not easy to puther into a fly-> 
away bomet now, <Nr to keep the 'bonnet in its place 
on the bade of her poor noddtng liead,-wheB it was 
got on. In this instance, it had not oaiy the ex'- 
traneous e^ect of b&ing alwayft on one side^ but of 
being perpetually tapped on the crown by Flowers 

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BOMBSY ANJ& aPtt 3^ 

tlie- maid» who attended .m the b^kgroimd dlqring 
breakfast to perforin that duty. 

" Now my dearest Grangeby," said Mrs. Srkewtou, 
** you must posively prom," she cut some of her 
Mfords shinty and cut out others altogether^ ^^ come 
<lown very soon." 

<f I aaid just tarn, madam," returned %&. Dombey, 
loudly and laborioi^yy ^^ that I am coming m at day 
or twQ." 

" Bless you, Domber V" 

Here the Major, who waa cbme to takje leave of 
the.ladie8^aod who was stiu'ing.throu£^ his apo^ectic 
eyea a^ Mrs. Skew^'e face, with the diainterestftd 
composure of an immortal being, said i 

^< Begad, ma'am, you dcm'jt ask old iJo6' to 
come!" .; 

<<Sterious wretch^ who's he ? " lisped^ Qec^tra. 
Bm a lap o»^ the bonnet: from Flowsecs seeming to 
jog b^. naemory^ she. added, ^Oh! You meaa 
yourself, you naughty creatvftre ! " 

^'•DeviliaJBi que«r» sir," whispered the Major to. 
Mi:* P<»nbey. ^^ Bad case* Ntyj&c dU wrap up. 
enough ; " the Major .being bttttoned to the chiiu 
*« Why^ who should. J. R mean by Joe^ but old Joe. 
Bag8tock'r-Joseph---yovfr8lave-^oe,m&'aiii? Here] 
fere's the man 1 Here are the^Bagstock bellow^ 
ma'ann i "cried the Major, ist]»kitig.him8elf asounding 
blow on the .chest, -. f. . 

<<My dearesf: Edith -f-G^angeby^ — it's most 
trordinry tiling/'^ said Cleopatra^ pettishlyy.^^tbat 

Major ". 

<< Bagstock 1 • J. B. !." cried the Major, seeing 
that she failed for his name. 

" Well^ it don'tmatter/' said Cleopatra, « Ediths, 
my love, you know I never could remember names 

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400 DOMBBY AMD BON 

— ^wiut wu it? oh! — most trardiary thii^ tbat 
ao many peoiJe want to come down to see me. I'm 
not going for loi^. I'm coming back. Surely 
they can wait, till I come bock ! " 

Cleopatra looked all round the table a« the asod it» 
and appeared very oneaay. 

** I won't have viatora^-really don't wantrafeoni," 
•he said ; ** little repose — and all that sort of thing 
— b what I quire. No odious brutes must proach 
me till I've shaken off this numbness ; " and in a 
grisly resumption of lier coquettish ways, she made 
a dab at the Major with her fim, but oterset Mr. 
Dombe3r's breaks-cup instead, which was in quite 
a different direction. 

Then she called for Withers, and charged him to 
see particularly that word was left about some trivial 
alterations in her room, which must be ail made 
before she came back, and which must be set about 
immedktely, as there was no saying how soon she 
might come back ; for flhe had a great many engage- 
ments, and all sorts of people to ail upon. Witlurs 
received these directions with beccMniflg deference, 
and gave his gnanuiteefor their execution ; but when 
he withdrew a pace or two behind her, it appeared 
as if he couldnHhdp lookii^ strai^y at^e Major, 
who couldn't help looking strangely at Mr. Dombey, 
who couldn't help looking^ strangely at Cleopatra, 
who couldn't help nodding her bonnet over one eye, 
and rattling her knife and fork upon her plate in 
using them, as if she were playing castanets. 

Edith alone never lifted her eyes to any £ice at 
the table, and never seemed dismayed by anything 
her mother said or did. She listened to her dis- 
jointed talk, or at least, turned her head towards her 
when addressed f replied in a few low words when 

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DOMBEY' AN&' SON 401 

TUBcessiffy; and sometimes' stopped her when she was 
rambling, or brought her thot^htsr back with a mono- 
syllable, to the point from which they had sifiiyed. 
The mother, however unsteady ^iki other things, 
was constant in this — ^that she was always ofosenrant 
of her. She wonld look at die beautifbl ^Eice, in its 
marble stiUness and seVerity, now with a kind of 
fearful admiration. $ now in^ gtgglhig foolish' e^rf 
to move it 'to a smile ; now with capricious' tears and 
jes^oms'- shakings of her liead, as imaghung herself 
neglected by it ; always with an attraction towards 
it^ that never fluctuated like 'h«r other ideas, btt had 
constant possession of her. From Edith she would 
sometimes look lit Florence, and back again at 
Edith, in a .maimer thaitwas wild enough; and 
scHnetimes she weiild try to looiq elsewhere, as W to 
escape fi*om her daiig^ter's face ; but back to it she 
aeenied forced to come^ although it never sought hers 
imless sought, or troubled her with one single glance. 

'The breaklast concluded, Mrs. Skewton^ acting 
to leaii girlishly upcm the* Mi^jor's arm, but heavily 
si^Kirted on the other side^y Flowers the maid, 
and propped up bdiihd by Withers the page, was 
ccodudlBd tok the carriage, which* was to take her, 
Floreiiocy and' Edith to Brighton. 

** And is Joseph absolutely banished ? '' said the 
Major, thrusting >io Uis purple &ce over the st^ps. 
<< Damme, ma^»n, is Cleopatra so hard-hearted as 
to forind her faithful Antony Bagstock to approach 
the presence ? '* 

"Go along I " said Cleopatra, *^ I can't bear ydu. 
You shall see me when I cdme back,' if you are 
very g6od*" 

'- " Tell Joseph, he may live m hope, ma'am/' rfaid 
the Major ; "or he'll die in despair." ' • 

II. DD 

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4M 0O1IBEY AND SOW 

Clcop«tn thuddercd* and leaned back, 
my dear,*' the said. ** TeU htm '* 

«<What?'' 

** 8«ch dreadful wocds," said Cleopatra. *" He 
wet auck dreadful wwdi ! " 

Edith ttgoed to him to retire, gave the word to 
go cm, and left the objectioaable Major to Mr. 
I)omtMsy* To whom be retamedy whiadmg. 

** ril tell you what, nr/' said the Major, with 
his hands behind him, uidys legs very wicfeasaader, ! 
**z fair friend of ours hasremoved to Queer Street" 

** What do yon raean^ Major ? '* inquired Mr. 
Dombey. 

** I mean to say, Dombey,'' returned the Majof} 
*^ that you'll soon be an orfhan-in<*law/' 

Mr. Dombey appeared to relish this waggish | 
description of himself so very little, that the Major j 
wound' up with the horse's c<Nigh, as an expresnos | 
of gravity.. 

** Damme, sir," said the Major, ^ there is no w 
in disguising a hcu Joe is blunt, sir. That's his 
nature. If you take old Josh at all, you take him 
as you find him ; and a devilish rusty, old rssper, 
of a close-toothed, J. B. file, you do find htm. 
Dombey/' said the Major, ** your wife's mother is 
on the move, sir." 

*^I fiear," returned Mr. Doaabey, with much 
philosophy, ^* that Mrs. Skewton is shaken." 

" Shaken, Dombey i " sM the Major. 
« Smashed ! " 

•*< Change, however,"? pursued Mr* Dombey, 
**and attention, may do much yet." 

"Don't believe it, sir," returned the Major. 
« Damme, sir, she sever wrapped up enough. If 
a man don't wrap up," said the Major, taking in 

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DOMBBY AND SON 4<'l 

another button of his bulT wawtcoat, *< he has aothiag 
to fall back upon. Bot some people wi/Zdie. They 
'zt/iffdo'iu Daimney they wiZH They're, obstinate* 
X tell yoU what, Dombey, it may not be ornamental ; 
it may not be refinedj it may be rough and tough ; 
but a little of the genuine old English Bagstock 
stanuna, sir, would do all .the good in the world to 
the hiHXian breed*" 

After imparting this preciois piece of information* 
the Major, .who was ccttainly tme-blttey whatsyer 
other eadowtefsts he may have possessed or wanted, 
coniiag within the .M genuine old English '' classifi- 
cation, which has ner^r been exactly ascertained, 
took his lobster-eyes and his apoplexy to .the club, 
and choked there all day. 

Cleopatra, at one time fretful, at another self- 
complacent, sometimes awake, sometimes asleep, and 
at all times juvenile, reached Brighton the same night, 
fell to pieces as usual, and waaput j»way in bedf 
where a gloomy fancy might have pictured a more 
potent skeleton than the maid, who should haye 
be^ one, watching at the rose-coloui:ed curtains, 
which were carricsd down to shed dieir bloom upon 
her* 

It was settle in high council of medical authority 
that she shoiild tak^ a carriage airing every day» and 
that it was important she should get out every day, 
and -walk if she could* Edith was feady to attelid 
her— ralways re^dy to attend her,, with the same 
mechanical .alteption and immoveable beauty-^-rand 
they drove out alone ; for Edith had adr uneasiness 
in the presence, of Florence, now tliat her mother 
was worse, and told Florence, with a kiss, that. she 
would rather they two went alone. 

Mra. SkewtoB, oa one particular day^ was in the 

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4^4 DOMBEY AND SON 

irresdvtei exsctln^) jealous temper that had developed 
itself onherrecoveiyfromlierftrstattack. After sittifig 
silent in the carriage watching Edith fbr scMne tiine, 
she fook her hand and kissed it pdssfonatelf. The 
hand was neither given nor wtthdTawni bat siintpiy 
yielded to her raimg of -It, and being released, 
drovpP^ ^^"^ again, ikno^ asif k were insensible. 
At this she began to whimper and'moaif, and nay 
what ft inoihdr she had= been^ afld how Qhe was for- 
gotten! Tins 9he cominaed to do at* 'impricioas 
intermfs, even when they had dig^ited $ when she 
lierself was'haidng aldng witis the jdnt siipporr^f 
Withers and a stick, and Edith wis walking by her 
side, and the carriage 'ilbwly ioHowing at a Kttle 
distance. ' ' "■ 

It was a bleaki lowerirrg, windy day j and they 
were out upon the Downs wMi tiothmg hot tt; bare 
sweep of land between them and' the: sky. The 
mother, with a querttioos satis&ction in the monotony 
of her coniptaitt, was stlU repeating it in a low voice 
from tiilieto time, and the proud form of her daughter 
movM beside her slowly, wh^n there canfte advancing 
ovtr a dark ridge before idiefti, two other figures, 
which, in the distance, were so like an exaggerated 
imitation of their bwn, that Edith' sbppied. ' 

' Ahffibst as she stopped, the tw6 figures stopped ; 
and tiiat oile which to Edith^s diinkilig Wtts like a 
di^Norted shiidow of her' mother, spokef to the other, 
earnestly, and with a pointing hand toward^ -diem. 
That one seeteed -hicKned to tttttl>'lttck,"bttt the 
other, in which Edith recognised Enough that was 
like herself to 'Strike her widfi ab ^usnal feeling, not 
quite free from fear^ carile on ; and then tfaey'caitie 
on together. . . ^ • « ^ :•' 

Thegreater partof tHis^bservatietti ihe madto Wliile 

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mMBW. Ann sm w 

iW^kiog towards ihem»rfor her stoppage luid been 
momentary. Nearer .observation showed .her that 
they were .poorly dressed, as wanderers about the 
country; that the younger woman carried kaitted 
,WOx}f» or< some such gopdftfor sale ; and that the old 
one, toiled on cflapty-^nd^d. . 

iVp4 yety howeyer far retnoTed she. was in dve^, 
i^ di^ty, ill beaatj^^jgdilh could not but oempare 
the younger wpmap, with, herself, sibUl, It nay have 
be<^ tbat she saw upon her face soneliiaces. which 
'sbe^jiffew w/^re lingering ki.iber own soul, if not yet 
■wriu^ on that imien ; but^ as the womaacame cm, 
re^uxTiifig her;£!ae» ^ni9g.}m sMniog eyes upOQihep, 
uodou|>ted))r presentiDg isamething. of her own air saad 
stature, and appearing to reciprocate her ownthou^ts, 
8h<?,,felt a dull icreep.iiver her,.aa ifi the day were 
darkeniQg^iapd'the wisd.were «olderk . 

, They hadiaow.comq i^ .The old'woman^ hold^- 
ing out ]\er hand inp^iortuaatelyy.suij^ped to. heg of 
•Mrs. ^ke^n. The yftfu^ger one stopped too, and 
ahe.iaqd Edith. looked in 'one another's eyeSk • • 

<<.Whait iw it that yt}u have to sell > "^ssid Edith. 
. *fPnly..thi9i'' returv^ the woman, holding out 
l^er, K#re9, without looking' at them. , ** I:SDld my^ 
self long ago." . . , .. 

<< My Lady, don't beheve her/' croaked itbe old 
woman to Mrs., Skewton ; ** don't believe .what -she 
saysfe She loves to |alk like that. She'a my hand«p> 
apme and undutiful daughter. She gives me nothix^ 
hntreproacheiy my LMyf for all J have d<»e for her. 
Lool^.at her now, n^y. Lady, how ahei turns, upon her 
poor -^d mother wi^' her looks.'.' .»,:,. ... . 

,.A» lyira. SkewtoQ drew b^ purse out with a 
trembling hapd^ and eagerly fumbled for scmie money, 
which the other old woman greedily watched for^-^ 

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4o6 OOMBEY AND BON 

thdr heads all bat tooching, in their hurry and 
decrepitiide-<-Edith interpoaed : 

<*1 have seen you,'' addressbg the old wonian, 
« before/' 

^ Yesy my Lady/' with a curtsey. <* Down in 
Warwickshire. The nxNiuiig Moong the trees. 
.When you wouldn't gire me nodiing. But the 
gendenan, be gave me scnniethiBg ! Oh, bless him, 
Uess him ! " mumbled the old woman, holding up her 
skinny hand, and grinning frightfully at her daughter. 

^* It's of no use attemptmg to stay me, Edidi ! " 
said Mrs. Skewton, angrily anticipiitbg an objection 
from her. ** You know nodtmg about it. I won't 
be dissuaded. I am sure this is an excellent iNwman, 
and a good mother." 

^ Yes^ my Lady, yes^" chattered the old woman, 
holding out her avaricious hand. *< Thankee, my 
Lady* Lordblessybu,myLady. Sixpence more, 
my pretty Lady, as a good mother yourself." 
. ** And treated undutifolly enough, too, my good 
old creature, sometimes, I assure you,^ said Mrs. 
Sktwtott, whimpering. << There! Shake hands 
with me. You're a very good old creature«-^l of 
what's his name*— and all that. Yoti're all affection 
and et cetera, an't you ? " 

"Oh, yes, my Lady? "^ 

^* Yes, I'm sure you are ; and so's that gentle^ 
manly creature Grabgeby. I must really shake 
hands with you again. And new you can go, you 
know; and, I hope," ad<^88in£( the daughter, 
" that yott^ll show more gratitude, and natural what's 
its name, and all the reft of it— but I never £d re- 
member names— ^r there never was a better mother 
than the good bid creature's been to you. Come, 
Edith!" ■ > 

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DOM BEY AND SON 407 

As the ruin of Cleopatra tottered off whimpering, 
and wiping its eyes with a giz^erly remembrance c£ 
rouge in their neighbourhood, the old woman hob- 
bled another way, mumbling and counting her money. 
Not one word more, nor one other gesture, had 
been eiechanged between Edith and the younger 
woman, but neither had removed her eyes nom the 
other for a moment. They had remained confronted 
imtil now, when Edith, as awakening from a dream, 
passed slowly on. 

^ You're a handsome woman,^' muttered her 
shadow, lodging after her ; ** but good looks won't 
sare us. And you're a proud woman; but pride 
won't save us. We had need to know each other 
when we meet again ! " 



Chapter XLI 

NEW VOICES ON THE WAVES 

ALL is going on as it was wont. The waves 
are hoarse with repetition of their mystery ; 
the dust lies piled upon the shore ; the sea*birds soar 
and hover ; the winds 9M clouds g6 forth upon their 
trackless flight ; the white arms beckon, in the moon- 
light, to the invi«ble country far away« 

With a tender melancholy pleasure, Florence finds 
herself again on the old ground so sadly trodden, yet so 
happily, and thinks of him in the quiet place, where 
he and she have many and many a time conversed 
together, with the water welling up about his couch. 
Afld now, as she sits pensive there^ she hears in the 
wild low fnurm^r of ^e oea| his little story told again. 

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4o8 DOMBSy AND SON 

hia Tery words repested ; and findsthatall her life and 
hopes, and gnefis, sinoef— in the solitary -hoase, and in 
the |M^eant it has changed to-^Te a portion in the 
burden of the manrelloits song. 

And.gentle Mr. Toots, who wanders at a distance, 
looking wistfully tbWards the £gure that he dotes 
upon, ^ad has followed there, bat cannot inhis delicacy 
disturb at such a time, likewise hears the requiem of 
little Dombey on the waters, rising and felHng in the 
lulls of their eternal madrigal in praise of Florence^ 
Yes ! and he faindynnderslaods, poor Mr. Toots, 
that they are- siiying something^iof a tane whehi.he 
was fien83>le of being' brighter and not addle-brained ; 
and the tears rising in his eyest when he fears that he 
is dull and stupid now, and good for little but to 4ie 
laughed at, diminish his satisfaction in their soothing 
reminder that he is relieved from present responsibility 
to the Chicken, by the absence of that game head of 
poultry in the country, training (at Toots's cost) for 
his great mill with &e Latkey Bo^. 

But Mr. Toots takes courage, when they whisper 
a kind thought to him ; and by slow degrees and 
withmany. mdecisive stoppages <mthei way, approaches 
Florence. Stammering and blushing, Mr« T^ots 
aCects amaaaement when hexomes near her, and says 
(havipg followed close on ^ the carriage in; which she 
travelled^ eyery inch of the.w^y from London, loring 
even to be choked by the dust q£ itsi wheels) that he 
never was so surprised in all his life. . . ' 

<< And you've: brought Diogenes too,, Miss Dom^ 
bey ! " says Mr. Toots, thrilled through land through 
by the touch of the sniafl hand so • pleasandy and 
frankly given him. 

No dottbt Diogenes is there,"and no doubt <Mr. 
Toou hasreason toobserve lum^forhe comes straighN 

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DOMBEY.AND SON 409 

way at. Mr. Toote's legs, and tnmblefl over hiimelf 
in* the idesperation with which he makes at him^ like 
a very dog of Montargis. But he is checked 1^ his 
sweet mistress* 

** DowBy Diy down. Don't yon remem b er who 
first made us friends, Di ? For shame ! " 

Oh I Well may Di lay his losing cheek against 
her handy and nm, ofi^ aod nm badk, and run round 
her, fam'kittg, and run -headlong at anybody coming 
by, to diow his derocion^ . Mr. Toots wonld ran 
headlong at anybody, too. A military gentleman 
gbefr past, and Mr. Toots woold like aotfahig better 
than.to ran at him,'fidl dlt. 

** Diogenes is quite in his native air, isn't he. Miss 
Dombey ? " says Mr. Toots. 

Florence assents, with a grateful smile. > 

^ Miss Dombey," > says Mr< Toots,' ** beg your 
pardon, but if you would like to walk to Blimbier's, 
I — I'm going there." 

Flofence put her arm in ikix. of Mr« Toots "with- 
out a word, and they walk aw^ together, < with 
Diogenes goipag on before. Mr. Toots's Iqgs shake 
under him ; and though he is splendidly dressed, he 
feels misfits, and sees wrinkles, on the masterpieces 
of Burgess and Co., and wishes he had put on that 
brightest .pair of boots. 

Doctor Climber's house, outside,, has as scholastic 
and studious an air as ever ; and up there is the 
window where she used to look for the pale face, and 
where the pale face brightened when it saw her, and 
the wasted little hand waved kisses as she passed. 
The door is opened by the same weak-eyed- Vonng 
man, whose imbecility of grin at sight of Mr;' Toots 
is feebleness of character personified. They are 
shown mto the Doctm's study, where blind Homer 

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4IO DOMBBY AND SON 

and Minenra give them audience as of yore, to the 
sober ticking of the great clock in the hall; and 
wBere the globes stabd still in their accustomed 
places, as if the world were stationary too, and 
nothing in it ever perished in obedience to the 
uniyersal law, that, while it keeps it on the roll, calls 
everything to earths 

. And here is Doctor Blimber, with his learned 
legs ; and here is Mrs. Blimber, with her aky-blue 
cap ; and here Cornelia, with her sandy little row 
of curls, and her bright spectacles, still working like 
a socton in the graves of languages. Here is the 
uble upon which he sat forlorn and strange, the 
<* new boy ** of the school ; and hither comes the 
distant cooing of the old boys, at their old lives in 
the old room on the old principle ! 

** Toots," says Doctor Blimber, « I am very glad 
to see you. Toots/' 

Mr. Toots chuckles in reply. 

<< Also to see you. Toots, in such good company," 
says Doctor Blimber. 

Mr. Toots, with a scarlet visage, explains that he 
has naet Miss Dombey by accident, and that Miss 
Dombey wishing, like himself, to see the old place, 
they have come together. 

" You will like,*' says Doctor Blimber, "to step 
among our young firiends. Miss Dombey, no doubt. 
All fellow'-students of yours. Toots, once. I think 
we have no new disciples in our little portico, my 
dear,'* says Doctor Blimber to Cornelia, "since 
Mr. Toots left us." 

" Except Bitherstone," returns Cornelia. 

"Ay, truly,", says the Doctor. "Bitherstone 
is new to Mr. Toots.". 

New to Florence, too, almost $ for^ in the school* 

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DOMd&Y A>fD SOH 4ti 

roomy Bitherstone^-^no longer Master KtherMone 
of Kfrs. Pipchio's — shows in coUars and a neck- 
cloth, and wears a watch. But Bitherstone, bom 
beneath some Bengal star of ill-omen, is extremely 
inky; and his lexicon has got so dropsical from 
constant reference, that it won't shut, and yawns as 
if it really could not bear to be so bothered. So 
does Bidierstone its master, forced at Doctor 
Biimber's highest pressure; but in the yawn of 
Bitherstone there is malice and snarl, and he has 
been heard to say that he wishes he could catch 
** old Blimber,'' in India. He'd predous soon find 
himself carried up the country by a few of his 
(Bitherstone's) Coolies, and handed over tt> the 
Thugs ; he can tell' him that. 

Briggs is still grinding in the mill' of knowledge ; 
and Tozer, too ; and Johnson, too ; and all the rest ; 
the older pupils being principally engaged In forget- 
ting, with prodigious labour, everything they knew 
when they were younger. All are as polite and as 
pale as ever ; and among them, Mr. Feeder, B. A., 
with his bony hand and bristly head, is still hard at 
it : with his Herodotus stop on just at present, and 
his other barrels on a shdf behind him. 

A RMghty sensation is created, even among these 
grave youQg gendemen, by a visit from the emanci- 
pated Toots ; who is regarded with a kind of awe, 
as one who has passed the Ridxcon, and is pledged 
never to come back, and concerning the cut of 
whose clothes, and fashion of whose jewellery, 
Whispers go about, behind hands: the bilious Bither- 
stone, who is not of Mr. Toots's time, affecting to 
despise the latter to the smaller boyft, and saying he 
knows better, and that he should Hke to see him 
coming that sort of thing* in Bengal, where • his 

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4» POMBBir ANA !80N 

mother has got an eioerakl belon^uig to Um that 
was takeaout of the /ootstool of a raj^. Come 
iww!. 

Bewildering emotioiu. are aiiraJ(£iied„al«o ^F ^ 
light of Florence^ wilh whom evejry youiig gentle- 
man vprnediately hXk in love, figain; except, as 
aferesaidy thehiUoua Bitherstoo^ who declines to; do 
80| on( of contradiction^ , Black jealousies of Mr* 
Toots arise, and Briggs is of i>pinion.tha^ he an*t so 
very old afUr all* : But thi^. disparaging iqsinuadon 
is- speedily made nottgl^ by Mr. Toot^. spying sfgxid 
to Mr. Fepder, B.A.;'" How lire ypu* Feeder? *' 
and asking him. to come and dine with him ixy^y 
at the- Bedford ; in right of which feats' he might set 
up as Old Parr, if he chosei^.un<|Qe8tioned.. 

There .pis m«ch< shaking oC .l^iidsy and much 
bowing, and a great, desire on the part ^f each yowig 
gentleman to take ToQ^ down in Mi^a Dombey's 
good gf aoes ; :9fid then/ Mr. Toots having bestowed 
a ohuckle on hia pldi >desky Florence and he with*- 
dcaw with M^s. Blimber. and Comfslia ; and Doctor 
Blimben is heard to obaervj^ bohiqd, them asthe 
comes out last, and shuts the door» <f jGentlemen, we 
will now resume our studies.'' ; For that aqd little 
else, is what the Poctor hea^s the sea sayn or/ has 
heard it saying all his life- 
Florence then steak away and goes up stairs to 
the M bedroom wiiii ^«ira« Blimber and Cornelia ; 
Mr« Toots, who feels, that neither he npr anybody 
else is wanted d^re^.stapds talking to the Doctor at 
the etfbdy-door, ^ ra^r hewing: the Doctor talk to 
him, and wondering how he ever thought the study 
a great sanetu^y^ and the Dctctor^ .wi|h his round 
turned legs, like a clerical pianoforte, an awful man. 
FJorence soon comes down and takes leave; Mr* 

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DOM BB7 AND SKM 413 

Toots mkes leave; and Diogenes^ who has been 
Worrying the weak-«yed yoongnan rpidlenlj idl the 
time, shoots out at the door, and barks a glad 
defiance down the clifF; while 'Melia, and another 
of the Doctor's ;female domesttcsi look but of* an 
uppef window, laughing <* at that there Toots/' and 
sa^ng of Miss Don^w^v ^ But really .though^tnow--— 
ain^t lAe like her brother,^ only preitieri ** 

Mr. Toots, who saw when Florence came down 
that >there were teaivt^Km' her face, is desperately 
anxious and uneasy, and at first fears that he did 
wrong- in proponng the ^visit. But he is soon 
relieved by her saying she k very glad to have been 
there again, and by- hef talking quite cheerfuUy 
abont it all, as they walk im by the sea. Whiat with 
the voicetB thef e, and her sweet voice, when they 
come near Mr. Dombey's house, stnd Mr. Toots 
must leave her, he is so enslaved that he has not a 
act^p of free-will left ;. wlien she gives him her hand 
at parting, he cannot let it go» 

** Miss Dombey, I beg your pardon,'' says Mr. 
Toots, in a sad fluster, ** but if you would allow me 

The smiling and unconscious look of Florence 
brings hJm to a dead ^top. 

" If you would allow me t<^— if yott would not 
consider it a liberty, Misb rDombevy.if I>was to — 
without any encouragement «t all, if I. was. to hope, 
yon know, says Mr. Toots* < . , 

Florence lookjs at him inquinngly. • • 

**Mis8 Dombey," says Mr.. Toots, who ieels that 
he is in for it now) <*I rei^y;am in that state of 
adoration of you that I don't know what to do. with 
myself; I am the most deplerable wretch. If it 
wasn't at the comer of the Square at preacafty I 

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414 KIMBEy AND SOU 

ahonld go down on my knees^ and beg and entreat of 
you^ without any eDCouragement at all, just to kt 
me hope that I may — may think it poeaible .that 
you—" 

" Oh, if yott please, don't! '* cries Florence, £br 
the moment quite alarmed and distressed. *<Oh, 
pray don't, Mr. Toots. Stop, if yott please. Don't 
say any more. As a kindness and a fiiTonr to me, 
don't.'* 

Mr. Toots is dreadfully abashed, and his mouth 
opens. 

** You have been so good to me," says Florence, 
<*I am so grateful to you, I have such, reason to like 
you for being a kind friend to me, and I do like you 
so much ; " and here the ingenuous face smiles upon 
him with the pleasanfeest look, of honesty in the 
world ; ** that I am sure you are only going- to say 
good-bye ! " 

«« Certainly, Miss Dombey," sa^ Mr. Toots*'*! 

— I That's exactly what I mean. It's of no 

consequence." 

'* Good>*bye ! " cries Florence. 

« Good-bye, Miss Dombey," stammers Mr. 
Toots. ** I hope you won't think anything aboitf; it. 
It's — ^it's of no consequence, thank you. It's not of 
ihe least consequence in the world. • r 

Pbor Mr. Toots goeb home, to his hotel in a state 
of .desperation, locks himself into his bedroom, flings 
himself upon his bed, and lies there for a long time; 
as if it were of the greatest conseqilence^ neverthe- 
less. But Mr. Feeder, B.A., is coming to dinner, 
which happens well for Mr. Toots, or there is no 
knowing when he might get up again. Mr. Toots 
is obliged to get up to receive him, and to give him 
bootable entertainment. 

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DOMBBY AND SON 415 

And the generous influence of that social virtue, 
hospitality (to> make no mention of wine and good 
cheer), opens Mr. Toot&'s heart, and warms him to 
conversatiofi. He does not tell Mr. Feeder, B.A., 
what passed at the comer of the Square ; but when 
Mr. Feeder asks htm " When it is to come off,'* 
Mr. Toots replies, ** that there are. certain subjects *' 
— which brings Mr. Feeder down a peg or- two 
immediately. Mr. Toots adds, that he don't know 
what right j^imber had to notice his being in Miss 
I>ombey's company, and that if he thought he meant 
impudence by it, he'd have him out. Doctor or no 
Doctor; but lie supposes it's only his ignorance. 
Mr. Feeder says he has no doubt of it. 

Mr. Feeder, however, as an intimate friend, is not 
excluded from the subject. Mr. Toots merely 
requires that it should be mentioned mysteriously, 
and with feeling. After a few glasses of wme,.fae 
gives Miss Dombey's health, ohwrving, ** Feeder, 
you have no idea of the sentiments with which I 
propose that toast." Mr*. Feeder replies, ** Oh yes 
I have, my dear Toots ; and greatly they redound to 
your honour, old boy." Mr. F^eckr is then agitated 
by friendship, and shakes hands ; and says, if ever 
Toots wants a brother, he knows where to find him, 
either by post or parcel. Mr. Feeder likewise says, 
that if he may advise, he would recommend Mr. 
Toots to learn the guitar, or, at least, the flute ; £k 
women like music, when you are paying your 
addresses to 'em, and he has found the advantage of 
it himself. 

This brings Mr. Feeder, B. A., to the ccmlession 
that he has his eye upon Cornelia filimber. He 
informs Mr. Toots that he don't object to spectacles, 
and that if the Doctor were to do the handsome 

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416 DOMBBY AND SON 

thing and give up the business, why^ there they are 
-^provided for. He says it's his c^inion that when 
a man' has mode a handsome tiun by his business, he 
is boiind to give it up ; and that Cbmelia woold be 
an assistance in it which any man n^ght be proud of. 
Mr. Toots replies by launchmg wildly out into Miss 
Dooibey's praises, and by insinuations that'Sometimes 
he thinks he should like to blow liis brains out^ Mr. 
Feeder'strongly urges that itn^ould be a rath attempt, 
and 'shows him, as a* reconcilement' to tesistence, 
Comelia'fr portrait, spectacles and' idl. 

Thus these qvAet spirits pass the evening ; and 
when it has yielded place to nigjit, Mr. Toots walks 
home with Mr. Feeder, ' and parts with hihi at 
Doctor Blimber's door. But Mr. Feeder only goes 
up the steps, and when Mr. Toots is gone, comes 
down again, to stroll upon the beach alone, and 
think about his prospects. Mn Feeder plainly hears 
the waves informing him, as he kntei^ along, that 
Doctor Blimber will give up the business ; aad he 
feels a soft romantic pkature in looking at the outside 
of the house, and thinking that^thd Doctor will first 
paint it, and put it into thorough repair. 

Mr. Toots is likewise roaming up and down, out- 
side the casket that contains his jewel; and in a 
dei^orable condition of mind, and not unsuspected by 
the police, gazes at a window- where he sees a light, 
and which he has no doubt is Florence's. But it is 
not, for tha^ is Mrsi Skewton's room ; and vhile 
Florence, sleeping in another • chamber, dreams lov- 
ingly, in the midst of the old scenes, and their old 
associations live again^ the -fi^e which in grim 
reality is substituted for the patient boy -s on the same 
theatre, once more to coimect it — biit how differ- 
endy ! — ^with decay and death, is stretched there. 

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DOMBEY AND SON 4t7 

wakefal and complaining. Ugly and haggard it lies 
apon its bed of unrest ; and by it, in the terror of 
her iinimpassioned loveliness — ^for it has terror in. the 
sufferer's failing eyes — sits Edith. What do the 
vraves say, in the stilistess of the night, to them i 

** ^E^ihy what is thdt stone arm raised to strike 
me. Don't youisee it ? " 

«* There tsuothing^ mother, but your fancy.*' 
** But my fancy ! Everything . is my fancyt 
Look 1 Is it possible that you don't see it ! " 

** Indeed, niother, there is nothing. Should I 
sit unmoved, if there were any such thing there ? " 

** Unmoved?" looking wildly at her — "it's 
gone now — and why are you so unmoved i Th^ is. 
not my fancy, Edith. It .twnsine cold to see you 
sittiBg at my side/' 
** I< am sorfjr, .mother. " 

** Sorry ! You seem always sorry. But it ie^not 
for me." 

With that^ she cries ; and tosfiingh^r restless head 
from side tot side, upon her pilloyiF, runs on about 
neglect, and the itiother she has been, ^nd the mother 
the good old creature was, whom they met, and the 
cold return the daughtiers of such m^others make., In 
the mid^ of her ihcpherence^ she stops, looks at her 
dai^hter, cries out that her wits. are g<mg»a,iiA hides 
her face upon the bed. . 

, Edith, in compassion, bends over her and speaks 
to her. The sick old i woman clutches her round 
the oecki and says, with, a look of horrpr, 

<< Edith! we are goii^ home so(^ ; goii^ back. 
You mean that I shall go home again ? " 
«<Yc8, mother,, yes*",. r 
" And whlit he said--^hat's bis name, I never 
could remember nanies-T-^(ajor<-^-that dreadful word, 

U. EE 

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4i» DOMBBY AND SON 

when we came away — ^it's not true ? Edith ! " with 
a shriek and a stare, ** it's not /i&n/ that is the matter 
with me." 

Night after night, the light burns in the window, and 
the figure lies dpon the bed, and Edith sits beside it, 
and the restless waves are calling to them both the 
whole night long. Night after night, the waves are 
hoarse with repetition of their myvterj; the dust 
lies piled upon the shore; the sea-birds soar and 
hover ; the winds and clouds are on' their trackless 
flight ; the white arms beckon, in the moonlight, to 
the invisible country far away. 

And still the sick old woman looks itto the comer, 
where the stone arm— part of a figure of some tomb, 
she says — is raised to strike her. At last it falls ; 
and then a dumb old woman lies upoi» the bed, and 
she is crooked and shrunk upland half of biker is 
dead. 

Such is the figure, painted and patched for the 
sun to mock, that is drawn slowly through the crowd 
from day to day $ looking, as it goes, for the good 
old creature who was such a mother, and making 
mouths as it peerft among the crowd in vain. Such 
is the figure that is often wheded down to the margin 
of the sea, and stationed there; but on which no 
wind can bbw freshness, and for vHiich the murmur 
of the ocean has no soothing word. She lies and 
listens to it by the hour ; but its speech is dark and 
gloomy to her, and a dread is' on her face^ and when 
her eyes wander dver the expanse, they see bat a 
broad stretch of desolation betwera ^ffth and 
heaven. 

Florence she seldom sees, and when she does, is 
angry with and mows at. Edith is beside her always, 
and keeps Florence away j and Florence, in her bed 

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POMBSy ANI> SOU 4<9 

at nighty trembles at the thought of death in such a 
shape) aod o&en wakes aod listeas^ thinkit^ it hay 
come. No oae attends on her but Edith. It is 
better that few eyes should see her ; and her- daughter 
watches alone by the bedside. . - 

A shadow even on that shadowed &ce, a shairpen- 
ing even of the sharpened features, and a. thickening of 
the veil before the eyes into a. pall that ^uts out th$9 
dim worldy is come* Her wandering hands-, upon the 
coverlet join feebly palm to palm, and move towards 
her daughter ; and a voices— not like her^y not likf 
any voice that q;>eaks oor :moi^l lang^ge — ^says, 
« For I nurwl you ! '' 

Edith, without a tear, kneels dctwn to bri«g her 
voice closer to the nnking head, and answers r . 
** Mother, can you hear me ? " ^ . 

Staring wide, she tries .to nod io answer. 
** Can you recollect the night before I married ? " 
The* head is motionless, but it expresses somehow 
that she does. 

^ I told you. then that I forgdve your part in it, 
and prayed Gpi to forgive my'owm- I told you 
that the past wsa at an end between iis» I say jstf 
now, again* Kiss ne, mother." 

Edtth touches theiwhite lips, and ^r a moment 
allisstilL A montent afterwards, her mothei;, with 
her girlish laugh, and the akelfitoo of- the Cleopatra 
manner, rises in her bed*. 

Draw, the rose^-coloured curtaaas. There- is 
something else upon i^ flight i beside the wind dhd 
cloudsJ Draw the i:cise*eoloured curtains close ! 

Intelligeaee of the event ia aisnt ta.Mr. Dombey in 
town, who Waits vifoa Couan Fecnix (not yet able 
to make up his mind for Baden-Baden), who has 

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42S DQMBEY AND SON 

iDgy that these are the . occasioQa to make a man 
thinky in point of fact, that he b getting shaky ; and 
his eyes are really moistened, when it is over. But 
he soon recovers; and so do the rest of Mrs. 
Skewton's relatives and friends, of whom the Major 
continually tells the club that she never did wrap up 
enough ; while the young lady with the back, who 
has so much trouble with her eyelids, says, with a 
little scream, that she must have been enormously 
old, and that she died of all kiads of horrors, and 
you mustn't mention it. 

So Edith's mother lies unmenttoned of her dear 
friends, who are deaf, to the waves that are hoarse 
with repetition of their mystery, and blind to the 
dust that is piled upon the diore, aod to the white 
arms that are beckoning, in the moonlight, to the 
invisible country far away« But aH goes on, as it 
was wont, wpoa the margin of the unknown sea ; 
and Edith standing there alone, and listening to its 
waves, has dank weed cast up at her feet, to strew 
her path in life withal. 



ENP or VOL. u 



RUk4r4, a»f and Sw, limited, Lmfht <tnd »m%Mj» 

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